Freshmen Lead Baseball During Season-Opening Win vs. Pacific

    Freshman infielder Blake Kelso
    Freshman infielder Blake Kelso
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    HOUSTON - Freshmen Chase Dempsay, Matt Murphy and Blake Kelso each rapped out two hits and accounted for all three runs to help lead the University of Houston baseball team during its season-opening 3-1 win over Pacific on Friday during the first game of a non-conference series at Cougar Field.

    After falling behind 1-0 in the second inning, the Cougars strung together four straight hits. Dempsay and Murphy started the two-out rally with back-to-back singles and moved up a base following Chris Wallace's infield single. Kelso then slapped a two-run single into right field to hand the Cougars a lead they would never relinquish.

    In the fourth inning, Murphy led off with a single to left field and moved up following a groundout. Kelso followed with a double down the left-field line that scored Murphy and capped the scoring in the evening.

    Kelso went 2-for-3 with a double and all three RBIs to lead a Cougar offense, which rapped out 11 hits in the game. Dempsay batted 2-for-4 with a run, while Murphy finished the night 2-for-4 with a pair of runs. Wallace and senior second baseman Ryan Lormand also went 2-for-4 to lead the Cougars.

    The Tigers loaded the bases in the fifth inning with two outs, but UH starter Wes Musick forced Mike McKeever to fly out to right field to end the threat. Pacific would put at least one man on base in each of the final four innings, but Musick and the Cougar bullpen allowed no more runners past second base to seal the win.

    Musick, who earned his second straight Opening Day start, collected the win after limiting the Tigers to only one run off four hits with six strikeouts in six innings.

    Relievers Chris Wright and Donnie Joseph kept the Tigers in check in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, before closer John Touchton earned his first career save with a shutout ninth inning.

    Pacific starter Cole Akins collected the loss after giving up three runs off 10 hits with two strikeouts in six innings.

    The Tigers scored their first run of the season in the top of the second inning when McKeever smashed a 3-2 pitch over the right-field wall for a 1-0 lead.

    Infielder Adam Ching went 2-for-5 for the Tigers in the losing effort.

    The series continues at 3 p.m., Saturday before wrapping up at 1 p.m., Sunday at Cougar Field. Fans can hear Cougar Baseball games live at by clicking the appropriate links. Jeremy Branham and Mike Acosta will call the play-by-play action while former letterwinner Pat Cauley provides color analysis.

    Fans always can follow live stats by clicking on the Gametracker link.

    With Saturday being such a busy day around the University of Houston Athletics Department, both Men's Basketball and Baseball fans are invited to join in the fun. The Cougar Baseball program continues its season-opening weekend against Pacific when it meets the Tigers at 3 p.m., Saturday at Cougar Field.

    Fans can purchase reserved tickets for the Men's Basketball game against Rice for only $10. However, these discounted tickets only will be available at the Marketing table located on the concourse at Cougar Field during Saturday's baseball game against Pacific.

    Representatives from the Marketing Office will be selling Men's Basketball tickets to the Rice game through the end of the seventh inning.

    All Cougar fans are invited to come out to both games and enjoy a full day of Cougar Baseball and Men's Basketball.



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