Feb. 18, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - Colin Curtis' RBI-single in the bottom of the fifth inning broke a tie and No. 23 Arizona State held on the rest of the way to take a 4-3 win over the University of Houston baseball team Friday in the opener of a non-conference series at Packard Stadium.
After falling behind 3-0 through the first three innings, the Cougars roared back and tied the game on Brian Temko's three-run homer in the fourth inning. But that would be as close as UH would get the rest of the way.
In the fifth inning, Ryan Sontag led off with a single to center field and moved into scoring position following a passed ball. Curtis then laced a single into right field to give the Sun Devils the lead for good.
The Cougars mounted their biggest threat in the eighth inning, taking advantage of a hit from pinch hitter Matt Weston and walks to Isa Garcia and pinch hitter Josh Stirneman to load the bases with two outs. However, ASU reliever Zechery Zinicola struck out pinch hitter Tom Williams to end the rally.
ASU reliever Pat Bresnehan collected the win and improved to 3-1 after holding the Cougars to only four hits in three shutout innings. Zinicola earned his third save after holding the Cougars hitless and scoreless in the final 1.1 innings.
UH starter Matt Farrington dropped his second straight decision to open the 2006 season after giving up four runs (three earned) off six hits with two strikeout in four innings.
UH catcher Luis Flores went 2-for-3 with a run, while Temko led all Cougar hitters, batting 2-for-3 with a run, homer and three RBIs.
ASU starting pitcher/DH Ike Davis went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, while Brett Wallace finished 2-for-3.
The Cougars continue the series at 2 p.m. (CST), Saturday in the second game of the series. The game can be heard live on www.UHCougars.com with former letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans also can follow live stats by clicking on the "Gametracker" link at www.UHCougars.com.
Junior righthander Brad Lincoln is scheduled to make his third start against the Sun Devils. This season, Lincoln leads the Cougars with 16 strikeouts and only two walks in 12.0 innings of work. He also has thrown a career-best 12.1 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to last season.
ASU is scheduled to counter with freshman southpaw Jeff Urlaub, who has posted a 1-0 record with a 2.84 ERA and eight strikeouts in 6.1 innings.
The Sun Devils struck for the game's first runs in their first at bat. Davis's ground-rule double plated Sontag, and Joe Persichina's sacrifice fly into deep right field plated Willy Fox for a 2-0 ASU lead.
ASU pushed its lead to 3-0 in the third inning when Davis' RBI-single up the middle scored Fox.
The Cougars knotted the game in the fourth inning with a two-out rally. Mark McGonigle drew a walk and moved all the way to third base following Flores' single into center field. After working his way to a full count, Temko then lifted an opposite-field fly ball over the wall in right field to tie the game at 3-3.