Feb. 20, 2011
HOUSTON - The University of Houston held off the UT Arlington Mavericks to earn a 6-4 win and the first series sweep under head coach Todd Whitting Sunday afternoon at Cougar Field.
After jumping out to a 5-1 lead, Houston had to hold off the Mavericks who pulled within one, 5-4, in the fourth inning. The Cougars added an insurance run in the seventh inning to seal the victory.
With the win, Houston opens the season with a 3-0 record for the first time since 1993.
"To win your first three games of the season is a huge confidence booster, especially starting a new program," Whitting said. "These guys have basically executed everything we have worked on during the fall to a tee."
Taylor Hammack turned in 3.2 innings on the mound, surrendering four runs on eight hits with a strikeout. Matt Creel entered the game in relief to earn the win, going 4.1 scoreless innings while allowing just two hits with two strikeouts. Chase Dempsay earned the save, turning in one scoreless inning of relief and two strikeouts.
The Mavericks scored their leadoff batter to open the game after he reached base on a bad throw by Hammack, but the Cougars would answer big in the bottom of the inning. With Ryan Still on base, Chase Jensen hit his first career homerun over the left field fence to put the Cougars up 2-0. M.P. Cokinos followed with a single through the left side and Austin Gracey hit the second home run of the inning to clear the bases. Caleb Ramsey put the Cougars up 5-1, scoring on Joel Ansley's single up the middle.
UTA cut the deficit to one, 5-4, scoring a run in the third inning and two in the fourth but Houston would hold off the comeback plating John Cannon, who reached base on a walk, off Jensen's single to right center in the seventh inning.
Houston will be back at Cougar Field Feb. 22 for a 6:30 p.m. matchup with Stephen F. Austin.