Feb. 27, 2005
HOUSTON - Second-ranked LSU scored eight runs in the first three innings on the way to an 11-5 win over the University of Houston baseball team on Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader at Cougar Field. In the nightcap, the Tigers continued their offensive outburst and took advantage of some costly Cougar errors to take an 8-1 win.
It was the first time since March 3, 2001, against USC that the Cougars were swept in a doubleheader. With the losses, the Cougars dropped to 3-8 overall this season, while LSU improved to 9-1.
In the first game, LSU grabbed the lead in their first at bat, thanks to two hits and an error. After being hit by a pitch with two outs, Blake Gill eventually scored on Nick Stavinoha's RBI-single, and Clay Harris scored from third base on a UH infield miscue.
However, the Tigers used another two-out rally in the next half-inning to regain the lead. Bruce Sprowl and Ryan Patterson started the rally with back-to-back singles with Gill's RBI-single up the middle plating Sprowl. Patterson then gave the Tigers a 4-2 lead after a wild pitch moved all runners up a base.
LSU broke the game open with four runs in the third inning. Will Harris started the inning with a home run over the left field wall. Three batters later, J.P. Padron slapped a single into right field to score Dustin Weaver, who reached on a single. Ryan Patterson plated both runners with a two run-homer to left field.
In the sixth inning, Dustin Weaver drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk to give LSU a 9-3 lead.
The Cougars struck for another run in the bottom of the frame with a two-out rally. After reaching on an LSU infield error and moving to third on Brian Temko's hit, Chris Joseph scored on Mark McGonigle's RBI-single through the right side.
LSU's Clay Harris lifted a sacrifice fly, and Stavinoha added an RBI-single in the ninth inning to cap the scoring. In the bottom of the inning, the Cougars added another run when pinch-hitter Kori Williams' RBI-single to center field allowed Jake Stewart to score. However, that would be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way.
UH starter Brad Lincoln dropped to 0-2 after giving up eight runs (seven earned) off nine hits in 2.2 innings. LSU starter Clay Dirks improved to 3-0 with the win after allowing four runs (three earned) off seven hits with five strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
Stewart batted 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and RBI, and Brian Temko went 2-for-3 with a run and double to pace the Cougar offense, which rapped out 12 hits in the loss. Mark McGonigle went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Patterson went 4-for-6 with four runs, two RBIs and a home run to lead the Tigers in the first game, while Gill batted 2-for-3 with a run and RBI.
In the nightcap, the Tigers took advantage of the second Cougar infield error in as many innings to plate four unearned runs, thanks mostly to a three-run homer from Patterson.
One inning later, Harris led off the third inning with a solo home run to left center field.
The Cougars answered in the bottom of the frame with a run of their own. Bryan Pounds walked to lead off and moved into scoring position an LSU error. After Brett Logan reached on a fielder's choice, Jake Stewart laced a double down the right field line for UH's first run.
The Tigers responded in the top of the fourth with three more runs off three hits and another Cougar error. Matt Liuzza and Gill led the way for the Tigers with RBI-singles in the frame.
Making his first start since April 2003, UH senior righthander Gene Flores collected the loss and dropped to 0-3 after allowing five runs (only one earned) with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings. LSU starter Greg Smith improved to 3-0 after limiting the Cougar offense to only one run off five hits with six strikeouts in seven innings.
Stewart went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Dustin Kingsbury batted 2-for-4 for the Cougar offense in the losing effort.
Bruce Sprowl went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs, while Patterson led all players with three RBIs for LSU.
The Cougars will take a break from midweek games before returning to action next weekend against Loyola Marymount in a weekend series at Cougar Field. That series begins at 7 p.m., Friday, continues at 2 p.m., Saturday and wraps up at 1 p.m., Sunday.
Friday's and Saturday's games can be heard over the Internet only at www.UHCougars.com. Sunday's game also will be available on KGBC 1540 AM with all three games being called by former Cougar players Nick Torina and Pat Cauley. Fans also can follow the action by clicking on the "Gametracker" link at www.UHCougars.com.