Feb. 22, 2003
HOUSTON - The University of Houston baseball team struck for four runs in the sixth inning to break open a close game on the way to a 7-2 win over 12th-ranked LSU on Saturday in the first game of a shortened series at Alex Box Stadium.
The Cougars (3-5), ranked No. 20 by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, took advantage of four hits and a Tiger error in the frame. Brett Cooley walked to lead off the frame and moved all the way to third base on a picture perfect hit-and-run. Hyung Cho scored Cooley with a single to right field and moved into scoring position with Thanos Papavasiliou after a sacrifice from Stuart Musslewhite.
Sam Mitchell smashed a single to left field to plate Papavasiliou, and Cho came around to score when LSU left fielder Ryan Patterson's throw got away from catcher Dustin Weaver. Kevin Roberts then capped the scoring with a single to right field to score Mitchell for a 5-1 UH lead.
The series concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday. That game can be heard live on KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com. Fans can also catch the action batter-by-batter by clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the daily schedule at the bottom of the main page.
UH starter Danny Zell won his third straight game to open the season after tossing six innings while allowing only six hits and two runs with three strikeouts. Cougar reliever Ryan Wagner struck out seven of the 10 batters that he faced to pick up his first save of the year.
LSU starter Jake Tompkins dropped to 0-1 after giving up seven hits and five runs in 5.1 innings of work.
All but two Cougar starters recorded a hit in the game for UH, which rapped out a season-best nine hits in the game. Brett Cooley went 2-for-4 with a run to continue his recent hot hitting, and Papavasiliou batted 1-for-5 with a run to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games.
The Cougars scored the game's first run in the third inning. After fouling off several pitches from Tompkins, Gabe Lucas blasted a 3-2 pitch over the right field fence for a 1-0 UH lead.
The Tigers knotted the game in the fifth inning when J.C. Holt's sacrifice fly to left field scored Will Harris, who led off with a single and moved into scoring position after a UH error in the outfield.
LSU cut into that lead with a run in the bottom of the frame on Jon Zeringue's RBI double to right field.
But the Cougars put the game away in the eighth inning with two more runs. Musslewhite started the rally with a single to left field and stole second to move into scoring position. He came all the way around to score when Sam Mitchell reached on a throwing error by LSU reliever Billy Sadler.
Brett Logan then plated Mitchell with a single to right field.