Baseball Falls in Series Finale at No. 23 Arizona State
Feb. 19, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - Preston Paramore blasted a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning and lead No. 23 Arizona State to an 8-6 win over the University of Houston baseball team Sunday in the finale of a non-conference series at Packard Stadium.
ASU (8-4) rallied from a 5-1 run after three innings with two runs in the fourth and two more runs in the sixth inning on the way to the series sweep.
UH reliever Luis Flores collected the loss and dropped to 0-1 after giving up three runs off five hits with four strikeouts in 3.1 innings of work.
Dustin Kingsbury went 2-for-5 with two runs, two RBIs and a stolen base in the losing effort. Brad Lincoln finished the day 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs, while Matt Weston batted 2-for-4 to lead the Cougars, who outhit ASU 11-10.
Paramore batted 2-for-4 with a run, homer and three RBIs. J.J. Sferra went 2-for-4 with a run, while Colin Curtis finished the day 2-for-4 with a run, two RBIs and two stolen bases to lead ASU.
The Cougars return home to play host to Northwestern State at 7 p.m., Wednesday at Cougar Field. 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.
The game also is part of UH Spirit Day at the ballpark. The Cougars Dolls and UH Band are scheduled to perform at the game with special appearances by Shasta and Sasha.
For the first time in the series, the Cougars grabbed the lead in their first at bat. Isa Garcia led off with a single to center field and moved to second base after an infield groundout. Dustin Kingsbury then laced an RBI-single through the left side of the infield to give UH a 1-0 advantage.
Kingsbury stole second base and doubled the Cougar led when Luis Flores laced an RBI-single into center field.
In the third inning, Mark McGonigle led off with a double down the left field line and moved to third base following Brett Logan's sacrifice bunt. Travis Cougot then rapped a ground ball that was misplayed in the ASU infield, allowing McGonigle to score and give the Cougars a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, though, ASU struck for a run without the benefit of a hit. After leading off with a walk, Eric Sogard worked his way around the bases and scored on J.J. Sferra's infield groundout. The Sun Devils continued to threaten, loading the bases with two outs, but Brown struck out Colin Curtis to end the threat.
The Cougars responded in the next half inning with back-to-back, one-out home runs from Kingsbury and Lincoln to push their lead to 5-1. It was the first back-to-back homers for the Cougars since Travis Tully and Chris Joseph accomplished the feat in the seventh inning at TCU on April 30, 2005.
ASU cut into the lead in the fourth inning on Colin Curtis' two-run single and continued to threaten for more runs. But Flores struck out the final two batters of the frame to end the rally.
Two innings later, the Sun Devils knotted the game with two more runs, courtesy of Willy Fox's RBI-single and an infield groundout from Davis that allowed Joe Persichina to score from third base.
The Sun Devils added some insurance runs in their final at bat on Paramore's two-run, two-out single in the eighth inning.
In the top of the ninth inning, the Cougars rallied with one run. Bryan Tully was hit by a pitch with one out, advanced to second and moved to third following a wild pitch before Brad Lincoln's RBI-single through the right side put the score at 8-6. However, that would be as close as UH would get the rest of the way.