Houston Baseball Wins Season Opener, 3-0
Feb. 14, 2014
HOUSTON - Highlighted by a dominating pitching performance by junior Aaron Garza and a 3-for-3 effort, including a home run by senior Casey Grayson lifted Houston Baseball to a season-opening 3-0 win over Nicholls State at Cougar Field on Friday night.
The Cougars jumped out to a 1-0 start for the 2014 season, while Nicholls State fell to 0-1.
Garza (7.0,2,0,0,1,6), who made his 24th career start, didn't disappoint for Houston as the righty from Galveston was lights out in his 7.0-inning shutout effort. Holding Nicholls State without a hit over the first 4.2 innings, Garza surrendered just two scattered hits and one walk in his outing to accompany his career-tying six strikeouts.
It didn't take long for Grayson to make his return a memorable one as the first baseman belted a solo homerun to deep right field on just the second pitch in his first at-bat as a Cougar this season to give Houston a 1-0 lead in the third.
Solid defense on the new FieldTurf and an impressive pitching performance kept Nicholls State intact all night as Garza held the Colonels out of scoring position in his 7.0 innings of work.
Holding on to a 1-0 lead, the Cougars welcomed in senior closer Chase Wellbrock (2.0,3,0,0,0,5) in the eighth, who fanned five of his nine hitters he faced for 2.0 shutout innings in relief to earn his first save and 13th of his career.
Despite a scare in the eighth, Wellbrock fanned the side after stranding runners at second and third to preserve a Cougars' lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.
Senior shortstop Frankie Ratcliff gave Houston a cushion in the eighth when he laced a sharp single up the middle to plate two and extend Houston's lead to 3-0. Scoring on that hit was sophomores Josh Vidales and Kyle Survance, each reaching on a walk and sacrifice bunt fielder's choice, respectively.
Grayson led the Houston offense with a 3-for-3 night, which included a homerun. He was followed by senior Caleb Barker (2x3) with two hits and Ratcliff (1x4, 2 RBI) with two RBI. Also notching a base hit were Vidales (1x2, R), Survance (1x3, R).
Garza (1-0) earns the win, while Wellbrock (1) picked up the save.
For Nicholls State, starter Taylor Byrd (5.0,5,1,1,1,6) suffered the loss after allowing one run on five hits over 5.0 innings.
On Casey Grayson
Sophomore Aaron Garza
On having Friday night stuff
"That's my goal, to take it one pitch at a time, whether it's Friday, Saturday, Sunday or even Tuesday. Whenever the team needs me to go out there. Luckily I got the win tonight, and it was great to be apart of."
Senior Casey Grayson
Any kid 8th grade and under wearing a Houston Baseball Camp t-shirt to any home game will received FREE ADMISSION!
Premium games for the Cougars will include the Baylor midweek game (Tues., March 11), the Rice midweek game (Tues., March 25) and the Louisville weekend series (April 11-13). Premium games begin as low as $7 for youth and $10 for adults in general admission seating (Level 200) and as low as $12 for youth and $15 for adults in reserved seating (Level 100).
By visiting UHCougars.com, clicking the Tickets link, and then Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page or by clicking here, fans can begin purchasing tickets for single games at Cougar Field this season.
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To purchase, visit the Tickets tab, Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page under Season Tickets or by clicking here.
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