HOUSTON -- An offensive explosion highlighted by 12 hits and two home runs led to a winning effort on Opening Night for Houston Baseball as the No. 12 Cougars posted a 13-1 victory over Villanova at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park.
With the win, Houston improved to 1-0 on the year and recorded its 394th win at home.
The Cougars and Wildcats will continue the three-game series at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and wrap at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Saturday, February 20 - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday Bingo: Play Bingo, Win Prizes.
Sunday, February 21 - 1:00 p.m.
Sunday Kids Day: Kids Zone with inflatables, Kids Run the Bases, Postgame Autographs
TOP OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCES
Jacob Campbell -- 1x4 / 2 R / 4 RBI / 3-RUN HR
Connor Wong -- 2x5 / 1 R / 1 RBI / HR
Connor Hollis -- 2x5 / 3 R
Justin Montemayor -- 2x4 / 3 RBI / 3B
Joe Davis -- 2x4 / 1 R / 3 RBI / 2B
Junior Andrew Lantrip (6.0, 2,0,0,0,5) was dominant in his first start of 2016, tossing 6.0 shutout frames, allowing just two hits with no walks and five strikeouts. With the win, Lantrip moved to 16-3 in his career at Houston.
Junior reliever Nick Hernandez (2.0,1,0,0,0,2) and freshman Tanner Lawson (1.0,0,0,0,1,1) showed well in their Cougar debuts, posting shutout frames out of the bullpen, while combining for three strikeouts on the night.
Accompanying the 12 hits were seven walks and three hit by pitches for the Cougars' offense.
With his third-inning home run, Campbell's on-base streak extends to 20 games and his hit streak extends to 11 games -- rolling over from the 2015 season.
The season couldn't have started much better for the Houston offense as leadoff hitter Wong belted the fifth pitch he saw over the left center wall to put the Cougars ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first.
As Lantrip continued to shut down the Villanova hitters, Houston responded with a four-run third inning that extended its lead to 5-0 highlighted by a three-run homerun off the bat of Campbell. Sparking the offensive scoring in the frame was sophomore Connor Hollis, who opened with a one-out single followed by a walk from sophomore Corey Julks -- setting the scene for Campbell's first long ball of the year.
After a Villanova miscue in center field, sophomore Clay Casey advanced to third and was later played by Montemayor, who responded with a two-out RBI-single into right field for the five-run lead.
For the second straight inning, the Cougars posted multiple runs, tallying two in the fourth following an error, three hit by pitches and a walk to move ahead 7-0 over Villanova.
A two-run triple off the bat of Montemayor plated Julks and Davis -- who each singled -- in the sixth to give Houston a 9-0 lead.
Lantrip's night was a gem in his first start of his junior campaign as he exited after 6.0 complete innings, handing the ball over to junior Nathan Jackson.
Villanova would take advantage of two walks by Jackson to open the seventh and later score on a fielder's choice, but the Cougars didn't let up as they went on to plate four runs in the latter half of the frame, led by a two-run double by Davis -- extending their lead to 13-1.
Hernandez (2.0,1,0,0,0,2) returned for his second inning of work and continued to deal, posting another scoreless frame before handing the ball over to Lawson (1.0,0,0,0,1,1) -- who held Villanova to a hit and walk in his first collegiate appearance out of the bullpen.
Villanova was held to three hits on the night and just one run. Starter Hunter Schryver (3.1,6,6,4,1,3) suffered the loss after allowing four earned runs on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
"We did well. A lot of new guys got a chance to play, and we took advantage of a couple of their mistakes. Andrew Lantrip set the tone. He went out there and pounded the strike zone and got them out. We were able to chip away at it and have a couple of big innings. Overall it was a great effort. The biggest things in the game were not the obvious - the 3-run home run by [Jacob] Campbell or the leadoff home run by [Connor] Wong - but Clay Casey going from first base on an easy popup, going hard around the bases, and they ended up dropping the ball and he is standing on third base. And Jose Reyes hitting a ground ball forcing the shortstop to make a bad play because he is hauling, getting after it, and getting down the line. Those are the kinds of things that I am looking for early. The energy, the attitude and the effort. If you do those things, you are going to win."
On Lantrip's outing
"It eases your mind when your ace goes out there and does his job. He looked in mid-season form tonight. We got him out of there with about 80 pitches, he had the game under control, but I thought he was pretty sharp. As he gets going along his pitch counts will extend a little bit. He had great command tonight. He didn't walk anybody and had complete command of the game."
On offensive showing
"This is a little bit more balanced team offensively than we were last year, especially from a power standpoint. We have guys up and down that lineup that can hit the ball out of the ballpark. That puts a lot of pressure on pitching staffs, they can't just lay it in there and go right at you with the fastball."
On patience at the plate
"We had their starter at 83 pitches through 3.1 innings. From an offensive standpoint to get the opposing pitcher at that high of a pitch count early in the game, it really tilts the game in your favor when you can get in the bullpen that early."
On the new players
"You try to prepare them from the time that they hit campus on the different speed of the game on this level from wherever they came from, whether it be high school or junior college. You never know until you get them out there, but they handled the pace and speed of the game really well tonight. We were lucky enough to get out and extend a lead to where we could get some young kids some at-bats and get them some playing time. It's always good to see them out there for the first time."
Junior starter Andrew Lantrip
On his game
"I came out a little shaky. The fastball command wasn't there. Throughout the course of the game, six innings, I settled in and was able to enjoy it. It was a great game, a good team win, and hopefully there are many more to come."
On offensive output from teammates
"Connor Wong leading off with a jack, that'll put your mind at ease. Putting up 13 runs, it is a nice feeling on the first night. 13 runs to open up the season doesn't happen very often and hopefully it'll be a pretty regular thing."
Senior DH Jacob Campbell
On offensive showing
"We came out with a lot of energy tonight. Everybody was excited for the first game. We played well, we had mistakes, but we played good; we all had a lot of energy. We have to roll with that every day."
On approach at the plate
"The focus tonight was going in and trying to get our swings off and get good pitches to hit. We always talk about going double-double, and we were able to do that. 13 runs on 12 hits, it was a good night for us."
On Lantrip's outing
"Lantrip was outstanding tonight. He goes out there and will pound the zone every time. We expect that out of him and he did really good tonight."
JOIN THE DUGOUT CLUB
Nationally-ranked Houston Baseball would like to encourage those wishing to support the efforts and success of the baseball student-athletes to consider joining the Dugout Club for as low as $25 a month or $300 annually.
For a minimum monthly installment of $25 or a minimum one-time gift of $300, supporters can take advantage of the Pinch Hitter level, which will guarantee an invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball team apparel.
For a minimum monthly installment of $100 or a minimum one-time gift of $1,000, supporters can take advantage of the Diamond level, which will guarantee batting practice passes for two to any home game, invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball apparel.
**Cougar Pride points will be applied accordingly.
For more information on joining the Dugout Club, please contact the Houston Baseball office at (713) 743-9396.
For more information regarding Cougar Pride, please call (713) 743-GOUH
BUY SEASON/ SINGLE-GAME / GROUP TICKETS
Houston Baseball will play 32 home games at Cougar Field this upcoming 2016 season and fans can purchase season tickets for as low as $99 online by visiting UHCougars.com/tickets and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
To purchase tickets in person, fans can visit the Athletics Ticket Stadium Office located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1 off Cullen Boulevard. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m.
Houston Baseball will offer variable pricing on its single-game tickets and group rates.
As noted in the table above, variable pricing occurs. For weekday (Tuesday/Wednesday) games, prices range from $5-$7 depending on the choice of seating.
Weekend ((Thursday) Friday-Sunday) online pricing will range from $6-$8 per game.
Group rates are also available (as noted in the table). Weekday (Tuesday/Wednesday) and Weekend ((Thursday) Friday-Sunday) pricing occurs. Groups of 10-24 are set at $4-$5 per person, while groups of 25+ are $3-$4 per person.
All UH main campus students are admitted FREE to regular-season baseball home games with a valid student ID.
2016 SCHEDULE QUICK HITS
32 home games; 38 in the city of Houston
First 12 games of the season will be played in the city of Houston
21 of the first 25 games will be played in the city of Houston
18 of the first 25 games will be played at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park
Houston will host Opening Weekend for the 11th consecutive season
Cougars are 14-1 all-time during Opening Weekend under Todd Whitting
Houston to make 16th straight appearance in Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park
Cougars to face Texas Tech, Arkansas and TCU
Cougars own a 20-25 all-time record in tournament; has earned seven wins over Top 30 teams
Houston has three first-time opponents on the schedule: Villanova, Grand Canyon, George Washington
RICE & TEXAS IN SUGAR LAND, TEXAS AT CONSTELLATION FIELD
Houston will meet both Texas (April 12) and Rice (May 17) for non-conference, midweek games at Sugar Land's Constellation Field.
NCAA TOURNAMENT COMPETITION
20 games this season will be played against an NCAA-tournament team from 2015
Arkansas, TCU, Texas Southern, Rice, Texas A&M, East Carolina, Texas, USF, Tulane
Stay up to date with all Houston Baseball news and highlights by following us on Twitter @UHCougarBB or on Facebook at /HoustonCougarBaseball. Fans can also follow head coach Todd Whitting @toddwhitting on Twitter.