Feb. 15, 2014
HOUSTON - For the second straight night and the first time since 2010, Houston Baseball posted back-to-back shutouts, earning a 4-0 win over Nicholls State on Saturday evening at Cougar Field to clinch the Opening Weekend series and move to 2-0 on the year.
Sophomore starter Jake Lemoine (7.0,4,0,0,1,4) tossed 7.0 shutout innings, allowing just four scattered hits and one walk to accompany his four strikeouts to earn his first win of the year and eighth career win.
Junior college transfer Jared Robinson (2.0,2,0,0,0,4) was equally impressive with his four strikeouts in 2.0 innings out of the pen as the duo combined for the shutout - which happened to be the second consecutive one of the year for the Houston staff after Aaron Garza and Chase Wellbrock teamed up for the scoreless game last night.
Houston strung together a 10-hit night as a unit, led by senior Frankie Ratcliff's three-hit evening.
Joining Ratcliff with a multi-hit game were sophomores Justin Montemayor (2x3, RBI) and Kyle Survance (2x4, 2 R) each with two base knocks. The Cougars added doubles from seniors Casey Grayson (1x3, 2 RBI) and Jacob Lueneburg (1x3), while junior Michael Pyeatt added a base knock.
Back-to-back two-run innings by Houston sparked a four-run lead after five complete.
The Cougars plated their first run of the night on a straight steal home by Survance in the fourth after he opened the scoring threat for Houston with a single to right field. Ratcliff followed with a single and later scored on an RBI-double off the bat of Montemayor.
Up 2-0, Lemoine continued to hold Nicholls State hitters in check for the fifth straight inning as the Cougars were able to add to their lead with two more runs in the bottom half of the fifth. With two outs in the inning, Survance and Ratcliff kept the inning alive with back-to-back singles for the second straight frame - allowing Grayson to come through in the clutch with a two-run double down the left field line to give the Cougars a 4-0 lead.
Those four runs proved to be enough as the Cougar pitching staff held Nicholls State without a run for the second straight game. The last time Houston shutout back-to-back opponents came back on March 5-6, 2010 in wins over Missouri and Texas.
"We had great energy, and great effort the entire game. We had the heat on them for the entire nine innings. We didn't let up, or give them anything free. We had timely hits, and once we got that first run across we did a great job of executing. We have a really good offensive team, and I'm really excited about what we can do at the plate this year. Jake Lemoine goes out, and he's just as good as (Aaron) Garza did last night. You get two starting pitchers that can do that, you have a great chance to win. J-Rob (Jared Robinson) at the end came in for the first time and pitched well. He threw strikes, and the thing is we aren't doing anything to mess up the game. If we can play consistent baseball, throw in a few hits and great plays here and there we'll win a lot of games."
On the pitching effort these past two games
"Great effort by both starting pitchers going out there, and not giving up any free bases. They are making them earn everything they get, if we continue to do that with our starting pitching we'll win a lot of games."
Senior Shortstop Frankie Ratcliff
On the win tonight
"We did well tonight battling all night long. The bats are starting to come around with big hits. We're starting to get more comfortable and relaxed at the plate as a team. We didn't execute on a couple plays, but that's going to get better as we go along. I'm happy for the team, we're playing hard that's what we have to do."
On the pitching staff
"Our starting pitching these past two nights with Jake Lemoine, and Aaron Garza has been great. They have been pitching gems. They were tough all fall, which helped us hitters. Hopefully they can continue to dominate on the mound, and we can help them by giving them run support."
Houston will wrap up the weekend with the series finale, slated for 1 p.m. Sunday vs. Nicholls State.
Any kid 8th grade and under wearing a Houston Baseball Camp t-shirt to any home game will received FREE ADMISSION!
SINGLE GAME TICKETS
Single-game tickets begin as low as $6 for youth and $8 for adults in general admission seating (Level 200) and as low as $8 for youth and $10 for adults in reserved seating (Level 100).
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).
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