HOUSTON - No. 3 Houston Baseball wasn't able to close out a series sweep as it dropped its Sunday finale to No. 20 Alabama, 8-3 at Cougar Field.
The Cougars are now 6-1 after Sunday's loss, while Alabama improved to 4-2.
Houston tallied 10 hits on the afternoon, led by freshman Connor Wong's 2-for-4 effort, including a two-run homerun - his second long ball of the season.
Junior Justin Montemayor (2x2) and freshman Zac Taylor (2x4, R) tallied a multi-hit game, while junior Josh Vidales (1x3), junior Jacob Campbell (1x2), junior Ian Rice (1x2), and freshman Corey Julks (1x4) each added a hit.
Senior starter Aaron Garza (5.0,8,4,4,0,5) struck out five in 5.0 innings, but the right-hander allowed four runs on eight hits to suffer the loss, falling to 0-1 on the year.
Alabama took a 1-0 lead in the first following back-to-back doubles. The Cougars broke through and tied the game at 1-1 in the third when Taylor scored don a passed ball after singling with one out in the inning.
Tied through the fifth inning, the Crimson Tide made it a 4-1 game with a three-run sixth inning after the first three hitters reached on hits. The inning scoring barrage was capped by two late RBI-grounders.
Alabama extended its lead at 5-1 with a run in the seventh on an RBI-double, but Wong made it a two-run game at 5-3 when he belted his second homerun of the year on a 1-1 count following a hit-by-pitch from Fulmer.
Alabama used the last two innings to score three combined runs for the five-run win. Crimson Tide starter Geoffrey Bramblett (6.1,8,3,3,2,2) earned the win to improve to 2-0 on the year.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
On the series win over Alabama
"This series was a good, early-season test for us. We have to play games like this against quality opponents to see where we stack up. This time of the year, we are just trying to learn our ball club and hope you always have good energy, effort and attitude."
On the message to the team
"We didn't go out and try and bury them early. When you have a team on the ropes like we had them, you have to go out early and jump on them. We let them [Alabama] hang around in the middle of the game and build some confidence and they were able to capitalize on it."
Houston will make its first road trip away from Cougar Field this Tuesday, February 24 when it travels to San Marcos, Texas to take on Texas State in a 6 p.m. game.
With 31 home games set for 2015 at Cougar Field and a Top 10 nationally-ranked preseason program representing the University of Houston, the Cougars are proud to announce that single-game tickets are now on sale at UHCougars.com/Basetickets.
Along with the online option, fans can purchase tickets by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office at TDECU Stadium Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or can call 713-GO-COOGS.
Houston Baseball will offer variable pricing on its single-game tickets and group rates.
For the first time ever, the pricing breakdown will be determined whether or not you purchase your single-game tickets online vs. at the gate the day of the game as well as whether the Cougars play on a weekday (Monday-Thursday) or weekend (Friday-Sunday).
Weekday: Monday-Thursday; Weekend: Friday-Sunday.
As noted in the table, variable pricing occurs. For weekday (Tuesday nights) online purchases, fans can take in a game, ranging from $5-$7 depending on the choice of seating. If you choose to purchase the day of the game as a Weekday Walk-Up, you will pay roughly $2 more than the online price ($7-$9).
Weekend (Friday-Sunday) online pricing will range from $6-$8 per game, while Weekend Walk-Up pricing the day of the game will run a fan anywhere from $8-$10.
Group rates are also available (as noted in the table). Weekday (Tuesday) and Weekend (Friday-Sunday) pricing occurs. Groups of 10-24 are set at $4-$5 per person, while groups of 25+ are $3-$4 per person.
With single-game tickets available now, Houston Baseball still encourages supporters to become Season Ticket members and enjoy the attractive pricing and rewards that come with up-front purchasing for the entire 2015 season.
WHY ARE SEASON TICKETS MORE ATTRACTIVE?
Season Tickets are as low as $99 for general admission seating and the program offers an Anytime Tickets package that allows fans to use the 31 tickets how they choose (1 per game, multiple per game or all in one game). The Anytime Tickets are only available in general admission seating.
For just $200, you can enjoy reserved chairback seating on the lower level of the concourse at the stadium.
A new additional "Reserved 2" seating option for the 2015 season is also available with an assigned seat in sections 200, 201 and 202 for $150.
If you breakdown the season ticket pricing of $99 General Admission, the pricing of $150 for Reserved 2 or even the pricing of $200 for Reserved 1 (chairback), you are spending less money per game than purchasing single-game tickets.
HOW TO PURCHASE
To purchase tickets in advance, fans must 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. or you can call 713-GO-COOGS.
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.
A LOOK AT THE 2015 SCHEDULE
For the ninth consecutive season, Houston will open its slate at Cougar Field, having accumulated a winning record of 14-6, which includes three straight weekend sweeps the past three seasons under Whitting - who will begin his fifth season at the helm.
"I'm really excited about this year's schedule," Whitting said. "It is probably one of the most competitive ones we have made since our staff took over in 2010."
Houston will open the season hosting Minnesota on Feb. 13-15. The Cougars and Gophers will meet for the first time since 1987 as they have met 25 previous times.
The home slate for the Cougars will continue with their third straight weekend series at Cougar Field when it welcomes first-time opponent Columbia for a four-game series, set for Feb. 27-March 1.
"Our fans will have a great opportunity to see us play against great opponents here in our city," Whitting said.
31 home games; 36 in the city of Houston
First seven games of the season played at Cougar Field
19 of first 21 games played in the city of Houston
First five weekends played in city of Houston - four at Cougar Field
Houston will host Opening Weekend for the ninth consecutive season
Cougars are 14-6 all-time during Opening Weekend under Whitting
Cougars have swept the last three Opening Weekend series under Whitting
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.