Houston Baseball Shuts Out No. 26 Texas Tech, 9-0
Feb. 28, 2014
HOUSTON - An eight-run seventh inning accompanied by hustle plays and a dominating pitching performance by junior Aaron Garza lifted Houston Baseball to a convincing 9-0 shutout win over No. 26 Texas Tech on Friday in Game 1 of the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park.
The win improved the Cougars record to a perfect 8-0 on the year, continuing to be the best start since a 10-0 start back in 1993. The shutout was the fifth of the year, the most since 2002 when the Cougars notched eight.
Garza (8.2,6,0,0,0,7) was outstanding in today's win, improving to 3-0 on the year and nearly tossing a complete game shutout when he finished with 8.2 shutout innings, allowing just six scattered and no walks. His seven strikeouts is a career-high, surpassing his previous of six, which happened six different times in his career - last vs. Nicholls State on Opening Night.
Offensively, Houston pounded out 10 hits, including four extra base hits that led to a combined total of eight RBI on the day. Leading the way offensively was senior Jacob Lueneburg with three base hits and three RBI to finish 3-for-4 with two doubles, one run scored and three RBI.
The Cougars scored eight runs in the seventh inning on four hits. The last time Houston scored at least eight runs in a single inning came in the first inning at McNeese State back on May 7, 2013.
That offensively-sound seventh inning began on a one-out walk by sophomore Josh Vidales, followed by a bunt single by sophomore Kyle Survance and was followed by an RBI-single off the bat of senior Frankie Ratcliff for his second hit of the day. Senior Casey Grayson continued the inning with a walk and was put out on a fielder's choice groundout off the bat of sophomore Justin Montemayor, which plated two for the Cougars. Up 4-0, Lueneburg blew open the game with a bases-clearing double into right field to extend the lead by seven runs.
Hitting in the nine hole, sophomore Ashford Fulmer found the Crawford Boxes for the first homerun of the College Classic and the second of his short career. The homerun lifted Houston to a nine-run lead, which stood.
The Cougars jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Ratcliff reached on a two-out infield single. Grayson followed with a two-out double down the left field line, scoring Ratcliff after he battled to a 2-2 count.
Four Cougars finished with a multi-hit day. Behind Lueneburg's three base knocks were Grayson (2x4, RBI, BB) and Ratcliff (2x5, 2 R, RBI) with two each, joining Survance (2x5, R) with multiple. Fulmer finished the day with a 1-for-4 effort, driving in two and scoring a run on the homerun, while three Cougars in Montemayor and seniors Caleb Barker and Landon Appling all scored runs without registering a hit, drawing either walks or hit-by-pitches.
The Houston defense behind Garza held Texas Tech to just six hits, while not allowing the Red Raiders a runner in scoring position until a stranded runner at third in the ninth.
Senior reliever Tyler Ford (0.1,0,0,0,0,0) worked the final hitter into a flyout to right field, stranding runners at first and third to combine with Garza for the nine-inning shutout.
Texas Tech starter Dominic Moreno (5.0,5,1,1,0,3) allowed just one run on five hits, but would suffer the loss to fall to 0-2.
"Offensively, I thought early in the game we were having good at-bats. I felt like we would cash in on them at some point. We had the bases loaded early, and (Ashford) Fulmer lines out, and we don't come away with anything. Our team is resilient, and they play really hard. Today was won on hustle. We hit the ball, and Frankie (Ratcliff) scores from first, and then Monty (Justin Montemayor) beats out the double play which scores two runs on that play. Hustle plays win games."
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
HOUSTON vs. TEXAS ALL-TIME
SUNDAY, MARCH 2
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