Feb. 26, 2006
HOUSTON - Making his first career start, freshman righthander Luis Flores struck out a career-high nine while holding Monmouth to only two hits in shutout innings to help lead the University of Houston baseball team to a 6-0 win over the Hawks on Sunday in the finale of a non-conference series at Cougar Field.
Flores, a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, allowed only one runner beyond first base, and that came during his final inning of work. He picked up his first career win and evened his season record at 1-1. In addition, he sliced his ERA in half to its current 3.18 mark.
Flores was part of an impressive Cougar group of Cougar pitchers who struck out a season-high 16 batters and tossed the first shutout since a 6-0 win at Conference USA rival Memphis on March 18, 2005. Sophomore righthander Aaron Brown struck out five of the seven batters he faced in a two-inning relief stint, while junior southpaw Clint Corrigan struck out two of the three outs in the ninth inning.
Meanwhile, the Cougar offense continued its recent surge with nine hits. Junior infielder Dustin Kingsbury went 3-for-4 with a run, stolen base and three RBIs, while sophomore outfielder Bryan Tully finished the day 2-for-4 with a pair of runs. Junior DH Brad Lincoln also went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
With the win, the Cougars earned their first sweep since accomplishing the feat against former Conference USA rival Saint Louis on May 6-8, 2005, at Cougar Field. More impressively, it was the team's first non-conference sweep since Feb. 28-March 2, 2003, against Louisiana-Lafayette in Houston.
Monmouth starter Brad Bach dropped to 0-1 with the loss after giving up five runs off seven hits with four strikeouts in five innings.
The Cougars continue their season at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, when they face Lamar at Vincent-Beck Stadium in Beaumont, Texas. That game can be heard live on www.UHCougars.com with former letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans also can follow live stats by clicking on the "Gametracker" link at www.UHCougars.com.
Houston struck for the game's first runs in the third inning with one of their patented two-out rallies. After Tully lifted a double into no-man's land in shallow left field, Matt Weston walked. Kingsbury then smashed a double to the wall in left center to clear the bases and hand UH a 2-0 advantage.
The Cougars added three more runs in the fifth inning, thanks to four hits. After reaching on a leadoff single and moving into scoring position following Mark McGonigle's sacrifice bunt, Tully put runners on the corners with a single through the left side of the infield.
Weston then lifted a sacrifice fly into center field to plate Logan. Kingsbury then slapped an RBI-single up the middle to plate Tully, and Lincoln followed with an RBI-single to right field to cap the scoring.