HOUSTON -- No. 12 Houston Baseball used a four-run first inning and home runs by Clay Casey and Jacob Campbell in Sunday's 10-3 win to earn an Opening Weekend sweep of Villanova at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park.
The weekend sweep marked the third straight Opening Weekend sweep by Houston Baseball and fifth under head coach Todd Whitting since 2011.
With the Sunday win, the Cougars move to 3-0 on the year and recorded its 396th win at home, while Villanova fell to 0-3 in 2016.
On the weekend, Houston combined for 27 runs on 33 hits and committed just two errors in the series sweep. The 27 runs was the most during an Opening Weekend since 32 were scored vs. Delaware in 2012.
Houston Baseball will return to play when it welcomes McNeese State to Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park Tuesday for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch. The Cougars will then remain in the city to compete in the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic next weekend (Feb. 26-28) at Minute Maid Park vs. Texas Tech (Friday -- 12 pm), Arkansas (Saturday -- 3:30 pm), and TCU (Sunday -- 2:30 pm).
For tickets to the College Classic: www.astros.com/collegeclassic
Tuesday, February 23 -- 6:30 pm
Tumbler Tuesday -- First 50 fans through the gates get a UH Tumbler
True freshman Mitch Ullom (5.0,7,2,2,0,3) made a strong impression in his first collegiate start, going 5.0 complete innings, allowing just two runs on seven scattered hits with three strikeouts for his first win as a Cougar.
He was followed up on the mound by fellow freshman Trey Cumbie (2.0,0,0,0,1,1), who tossed 2.0 hitless frames with one walk and one strikeout before handing the ball over to junior Bubba Maxwell (2.0,2,1,1,0,2) -- who was making his first appearance after missing most of 2015 due to Tommy John surgery.
The Houston offense put on another show at the plate, tallying 13 hits on the afternoon -- six for extra bases. Leading the way offensively was senior Jacob Campbell, who went 2-for-3 with two runs and four RBI -- belting his second home run and first triple of the year.
Also notching hits were Connor Hollis (1x5, R), Joe Davis (1x3, R, RBI, 2 BB), Justin Montemayor (1x4), Zac Taylor (1x4, R, RBI) and Jose Reyes (1x3, R, 2 BB). Every starter either tallied a hit or scored a run in the winning effort.
Villanova struck for two runs in the top of the first after a one-out single led to a two-run homerun. Ullom settled in and was able to escape the frame with no more damage, stranding Wildcats at the corners.
It didn't take Houston long to respond as it posted a four-run first inning to take over the lead thanks to four hits, sparked by back-to-back one-out singles from Hollis and Julks. A two-run triple by Campbell scored both Hollis and Julks to tie the game and put Campbell at third.
Davis would go on to record his team-leading sixth RBI of the weekend on a ground ball to shortstop, scoring Campbell. With two outs and a 1-1 count, Casey put Houston ahead by two on his first Cougar home run -- a no doubter over the left field wall -- the fourth team long ball this weekend.
With Ullom holding Villanova in check during the second and third frames, Julks sparked another Houston multi-run inning with a leadoff single through the left side. On a 1-1 count with no outs in the third, Campbell found the McDonald's parking lot with his second home run of the year -- for his fourth RBI of the game.
Houston had chances in each of the third and fourth frames, but would strand a combined five during those innings to keep the score a four-run advantage in favor of the Cougars.
The Cougars broke the game open with three more runs in the six, highlighted by a two-run double down the left field line by Julks, scoring Reyes and Wong, who reached on a single and walk, respectively.
Ullom wrapped up his day with a solid first career start and handed the ball over to Cumbie in the sixth, which retired Villanova in order, which also included an inning-ending strikeout.
The Cougars continued to plate runs when Taylor drove in Davis on a sharp ground ball after runners were put into scoring position following a Casey single and Wildcat error.
Maxwell took over in the eighth inning. The Vidor, Texas native allowed a leadoff triple and the runner would come around to score on a two-out wild pitch, making it a 10-3 game in favor of Houston.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
"It is huge to get off to a great start, especially at home and in front of a great crowd. The thing about this weekend is that we had opportunities to get a lot of young guys some work. Most of the young pitchers that we wanted to get in were able to get in. It was good, we got to see a lot of different guys in a lot of different situations."
On Mitch Ullom's performance
"When he gave up the two-run home run it kind of woke him up a little bit, he was out there just trying to survive. He went into competitive mode after that guy banged the ball out of here and he settled in pretty good after that."
On pitcher Bubba Maxwell's return
"He's good. His velocity is good for being a year, not quite a year, out of Tommy John surgery. For him to go out there and throw strikes and having something on the ball, he was letting loose pretty good, that is pretty encouraging going forward."
On the offense effort this series
"I'm kind of greedy because I thought we left a bunch more [runs] out there. Overall, from an offensive standpoint, there are still things that we have to work on. That is the thing about playing games, is that you know where you are at with certain guys and what you can do in certain situations, or at least you have a better feel for it. We executed the offense pretty well over the weekend."
On learning about the team
"They came out and played hard, that is the main thing that I am looking for this first weekend; that they come out with tremendous energy and effort, and they did that for three straight games."
Sophomore outfielder Corey Julks
On getting off to a hot start
"I was trying to be aggressive, swing early in the counts and put a good swing on the ball. It helps when my lineup is so good. They helped me get pitches that I can hit and drive runners in."
On sweeping Opening Weekend
"It feels great to start off good and start off hot - get a good roll on the season. There is so much excitement about this year with our new team and our new players and it just feels great to start off strong."
On the offensive production
"It feels great. Hopefully we can keep that going and keep it rolling."
On the freshmen's play this weekend
"They all did great. They all pitched well. They gave all that they have and it's good that they came out now and started off now, so once we get later in the year, it won't be anything for them."
On the return of Bubba Maxwell
"It's big time. We're going to need him down the road. He's a veteran and he has so much experience. It'll be big for us down the road."
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.