Feb. 20, 2004
HOUSTON - Brett Cooley blasted a three-run homer in the first inning, and pitchers Matt Varner and Brandon Roznovsky made it hold up the rest of the way as the University of Houston baseball team took a 3-2 win over No. 14 Cal State Fullerton on Friday afternoon in the first game of a series at Cougar Field.
The Cougars (2-3) exploded in their first at-bats with three runs. After Travis Tully reached on an infield error and Patrick Breen laced a single to center field, Cooley blasted a mammoth home run to left center field for the first runs of the game.
Although the Titans chipped away at the lead, that would be all the support needed for Varner and Roznovsky. Making only his second start in a Cougar uniform, Varner allowed only two runs (one earned) off nine hits and struck out four while not giving up any walks in seven innings of work. He improved to 2-0 this season after recording a win on Opening Day against Kansas State during the Minute Maid Park College Classic.
Roznovsky entered the game in the eighth inning and retired all six batters he faced, thanks to a consistent effort featuring two fly-outs, two strikeouts and two groundouts for his first save as a Cougar.
Breen went 2-for-4 with a run to lead the Cougar offensive attack, which managed only five hits in the game. It was the first time this season that UH had not reached double-digit hits, snapping an impressive four-game streak.
Shortstop Stuart Musslewhite extended his hitting streak to five games to open the season after batting 1-for-3.
The series continues at 7 p.m., Saturday at Cougar Field. That game can be heard live on KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com. Fans also can follow the action through live stats by clicking on the Gametracker at the bottom of the main page at www.UHCougars.com.
Cal State Fullerton chipped away at the lead with single runs in the second and third innings. In the second, Ronnie Prettyman's RBI-single plated P.J. Pilittere, who started the two-out rally with a single to center field. One inning later, Justin Turner raced all the way from first base following Kurt Suzuki's hit and a Cougar outfield error.
Following Cooley's home run, CSUF starter Jason Windsor settled down and retired the next 13 batters that he faced. UH did not manage another hit until the seventh inning and only one more in the eighth inning.
Windsor dropped to 0-1 during his first start of the season after allowing three runs (two earned) off two hits with three strikeouts in 5.1 innings.