Feb. 23, 2014
HOUSTON - Houston Baseball used a three-run seventh inning to overcome a late deficit en route to a 4-3 victory over Michigan on Sunday afternoon, helping the Cougars to the weekend sweep and a 7-0 record.
The inning began with a one-out single by Barker down the left field line and was followed up by a pinch hit single off the bat of freshman Jordan Stading - who saw that hit come in his first collegiate at-bat as a Cougar.
With the inning still alive and the Cougars with runners at first and second, Lueneburg never let up as he beat out an infield single to load the bases for Houston's speedy centerfielder. Fulmer took his fifth pitch he saw into the gap, driving in all three for a career-high in RBI. He tried to stretch his double into a triple, but was thrown out.
Houston was out hit by one, 8-7, to the Wolverines, but it was the extra-base hit in the seventh that set the game apart.
Fulmer led the Cougars with three RBI on his double, while sophomore Justin Montemayor (2x3) added two base knocks. Barker (1x3, R), Lueneburg (1x3, R), Stading (1x1) and sophomore Kyle Survance (1x4, RBI) each had a hit with Survance driving in the game's first run.
Houston jumped out to a 1-0 lead on his RBI-double that found the left field line, scoring sophomore Josh Vidales, who reached on a leadoff walk.
Michigan wouldn't allow the Cougars to hold their lead for too long as Kendall Patrick belted his first homerun of the season to make it a 1-1 game in the second.
Houston starter Jared West (3.2,6,3,3,0,4) fanned four in 3.2 innings, but allowed three runs on six hits after the Wolverines took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth.
Michigan starter Ben Ballantine (6.1,4,2,2,1,4) left in the seventh with a runner at first - after holding the Cougars to one hit from the first inning on.
Houston's reliever senior Tyler Ford (2.2,1,0,0,0,0) pitched another effective outing out of the pen, registering 2.2 innings of shutout baseball, allowing just one hit. He worked out of West's jam in the fourth, stranding Michigan runners at first and second.
Sophomore transfer Bubba Maxwell (0.2,1,0,0,1,0) was the pitcher of record in the seventh when the Cougars took over the lead, earning his first career win on the Houston pitching staff. He allowed one hit and one walk in 0.2 crucial outs.
Continuing his dominance on the mound late in games, senior Chase Wellbrock (2.0,0,0,0,0,3) fanned three in 2.0 shutout innings for his third save of the year and 15th of his career - one shy of tying the all-time career save record at Houston (16) - set by Ryan Wagner (2002-03).
Michigan reliever Brett Adcock (0.0,2,2,2,0,0) faced two hitters and allowed two hits for the loss to fall to 0-2 on the year.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
On the weekend
"Big game today, and I was really proud of the ball club. I felt like all three games were played with major intensity. I told our guys before the series that Michigan would come out with a lot of energy in their dugout. They're excited to come down here where it's sunny, and not where it's snowing. We had to be able to match their energy, and we did."
"Pitching again was outstanding. Friday and Saturday our starting pitching was great, (Jared) West gave us a couple of good innings, and then the bullpen picked him up. We continue to play good defense, and grind away at bats. We're going to score runs. If you look around college baseball you aren't seeing the scores you are used to seeing. You have to keep grinding away, and find ways to score runs. Proud of the effort today, and the trademark of our program that I saw today was when (Jacob) Lueneburg beat out the ball late on the infield hit. That led to Ashford (Fulmer) hitting the double to clear the bases. I told the club if you play that hard, and not give in, and not get too excited when we have success or too down when we have failure then we're going to win a bunch of games. We're not going to win all of them, but we'll win a bunch."
On closing the game
"There's a lot of pressure, but it's a good feeling when you can come in and slam the door. Your team goes out there, gets the big knock we needed to bring the momentum back to us. Having our fans into the game helped us close this game out. It was a perfect way to end the weekend."
On the bases clearing double
"I feel like I get these at bats where I'm battling more than others at the plate. Yesterday, I had an 11-pitch at bat, and I felt like I couldn't get out. Today I stepped in with three guys on down by 2, and I felt like I needed to put myself in that same position where I can't get out. I wanted to do anything I could to hit the ball to the outfield. That's all I was trying to do."
On the team having momentum
"It's great winning these games, but we're just taking it one game at a time. It doesn't matter who we're playing whether it's McNeese State on Tuesday or the teams coming into the Houston College Classic we're just going to take it one pitch at a time."
On his first career hit
"I was a little nervous going up there, but the coaches are big on competing at the plate so I knew I had to go up there looking for a pitch I could handle. I worked the count, and saw the fastball and took it the other way. I wasn't trying to do too much at the plate."
SINGLE GAME TICKETS
Single-game tickets begin as low as $6 for youth and $8 for adults in general admission seating (Level 200) and as low as $8 for youth and $10 for adults in reserved seating (Level 100).
Premium games for the Cougars will include the Baylor midweek game (Tues., March 11), the Rice midweek game (Tues., March 25) and the Louisville weekend series (April 11-13). Premium games begin as low as $7 for youth and $10 for adults in general admission seating (Level 200) and as low as $12 for youth and $15 for adults in reserved seating (Level 100).
By visiting UHCougars.com, clicking the Tickets link, and then Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page or by clicking here, fans can begin purchasing tickets for single games at Cougar Field this season.
FAMILY PLAN TICKET PACKAGE
Families can purchase the Family Plan for just $399, which includes two adult and two youth General Admission tickets to each of the remaining 30 home games.
General Admission seats include 33 "Anytime Tickets". You may use one ticket to each home game, 33 tickets to one game, or any combination in between.
General Admission season tickets start for as low as $150 (33 home games/$4.50 per ticket), while Reserved season tickets start at only $200 (33 home games/$6.00 per ticket).
To purchase, visit the Tickets tab, Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page under Season Tickets or by clicking here.
For questions or concerns, call or visit the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275).
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.
Houston will continue its homestand on Tuesday when it welcomes McNeese State to Cougar Field. First pitch set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday is Kids Eat FREE Night ... First 100 kids (8th grade and younger) in attendance will receive a FREE hot dog, popcorn and drink.
Any kid 8th grade and under wearing a Houston Baseball Camp t-shirt to any home game will received FREE ADMISSION!