Feb. 20, 2007
HOUSTON - The University of Houston erupted for seven runs in the fifth inning on the way to an easy 12-4 win over McNeese State on Tuesday at Cougar Field.
After jumping out to a 3-0 lead through four innings, the Cougars (4-5) saw that advantage slip away in the top of the fifth when the Cowboys knotted the game at 3-3. However, the UH offense erupted for seven runs off six hits with six different players reaching safely at one point.
That would be all the run support the Cougars would need to snap a three-game losing streak and win their sixth straight game against McNeese State.
Five different UH sluggers rapped out at least two hits in the game with sophomores Felix Fanaselle and Jimmy Cesario each batting 3-for-5 with a pair of runs. Junior shortstop Ryan Lormand went 2-for-6 with two runs, three RBIs and his first collegiate home run, while senior third baseman Dustin Kingsbury batted 2-for-4 with a run, double and game-high four RBIs.
Senior first baseman Josh Stirneman went 2-for-3 with a double, home run, two runs scored and three RBIs to help the Cougar offense, which outhit McNeese State 14-8.
Freshman John Touchton came out of the bullpen to pick up the win and even his season record at 1-1 after holding the Cowboys to on run off three hits with three strikeouts in 2.1 innings.
Brad Becker went 2-for-3, while Jeramie Broussard finished the night 2-for-4 with a pair of runs for McNeese State, which lost its eighth straight game to open the 2007 season.
Reliever John Ropp collected the loss and fell to 0-1 after allowing a run off a walk with a strikeout in 0.1 innings.
The Cougars will now leave the city limits of Houston for the first time this season to compete at the Southwest Diamond Classic at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco. The Cougars open the three-day tournament at 11 a.m., Thursday against Texas-San Antonio.
From there, the team will meet host Dallas Baptist at 7 p.m., Friday before wrapping up at 11 a.m., Saturday against Texas-Arlington.
All Cougar Baseball games can be heard live on UHCougars.com with former Cougar letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans can follow live stats by clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the front page of UHCougars.com or on the Schedule and Results page off the Baseball main page.
The Cougars grabbed their first lead in the second inning when Stirneman laced a 1-2 offering over the left-field wall for a 1-0 lead.
UH pushed its lead to 3-0 in the third inning. After Fanaselle drew a one-out walk, Cesario slapped a double down the right-field line. Dustin Kingsbury then a sharp single up the middle to plate both runners.
The score remained that way until the fifth inning when McNeese State took advantage of a hit, two errors, wild pitch and Charlie Kingrey's run-scoring groundout to tie the game at 3-3.
The Cougars broke the game wide open in the bottom of the inning with seven runs off six hits. Bryan Tully started the rally with a sacrifice fly, while Cesario added an RBI-single. Kingsbury laced a two-run single, and Stirneman followed two batters later with a two-run double to right center.
The Cowboys pulled to within 10-4 in the next half inning on Bryan Cartie's RBI-single.
But the Cougars responded with two runs in the next half inning, thanks to Lormand's two-run homer to left field. That would cap the scoring for the night.