Feb. 29, 2004
HOUSTON - University of Houston pitcher Brad Lincoln held eighth-ranked Long Beach State to only one hit through the first five innings to help lead the Cougar baseball team to a 4-2 win Sunday in the finale of a non-conference series at Cougar Field.
After giving up a leadoff walk, the freshman righthander retired the next 10 batters and did not allow any runners beyond second base in earning his first collegiate victory. The Clute, Texas, native also struck out five in improving to 1-0.
When Long Beach State rallied in the sixth inning with a pair of runs, Cougar relievers Kevin Roberts and Brandon Roznovsky slammed the door on the 49er offense. That pitching duo combined to hold LBSU to only one hit and two total baserunners and struck out five batters over the final four innings with Roznovsky recording his team-leading second save.
With the win, the Cougars snapped a season-long four-game losing streak and improved to 3-7 overall. Long Beach State dropped to 9-3.
Offensively, the Cougars (3-7) outhit LBSU 7-3 with Rob Johnson batting 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and a stolen bases while playing right field and catcher in the game. Making his second start of the season, catcher Brett Logan went 2-for-2 with an RBI.
Long Beach State starter Jason Vargas dropped to 2-2 after giving up four runs (two earned) off six hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks in 4.2 innings of work.
The Cougars continue their season at 7 p.m., Tuesday as they conclude their season-long homestand against Baylor at Cougar Field. That game can be heard live on KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com. Fans also can follow the action through live stats by clicking on the Gametracker at the bottom of the main page at www.UHCougars.com.
UH took its first lead in the second inning with a single run on the scoreboard. Rob Johnson slapped a double down the right field line and came around to score and give the Cougars a 1-0 advantage on Logan's looping RBI-single into center field.
The score remained that way until the fourth inning when the Cougars took advantage of three runs and a key LBSU error to score three runs. Nick Bott led off with a single and moved all the way to third base on Johnson's double into right field.
Thanos Papavasiliou then laid a safety squeeze down the first base line. After Vargas fielded the slow grounder, he tossed the ball to catcher Brad Davis in an attempt to get Bott at the plate, but the Cougar baserunner slid under the tag for a 2-0 UH lead.
Logan loaded the bases again with an infield bunt single. Travis Tully then hit a slow dribbler back to Vargas, but the LBSU pitcher's throw to Davis went wide and to the backstop, allowing Johnson to score easily. Two batters later, Stuart Musslewhite capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly into center field to plate Papavasiliou.
In the top of the sixth inning, the game was delayed for 17 minutes after a brief storm moved through the area. When the rain ended, Long Beach State cut into the Cougar lead with two runs. After loading the bases on an infield single and back-to-back walks by UH reliever Travis Mays, Davis lifted a bouncing single through the Cougar infield that scored Travis Udvarhelyi and Josh Buhagiar for a 4-2 UH lead.
That would be all the offense that Long Beach State would muster the rest of the day. After Davis' two-run single, UH reliever Kevin Roberts induced a fly-out and double play in the sixth to kill the 49er rally. Roberts then pitched 1-2-3 seventh and eighth innings before giving way to Roznovsky.