Feb. 29, 2008
HOUSTON, Texas - For the second time in his career senior Bryan Tully hit a home run and registered a save, this time coming in from right field in the ninth inning to slam the door shut on Texas Tech, as the Cougars held on for a 5-4 victory over the Red Raiders on day one of the Houston College Classic being held at Minute Maid Park.
With the win the Cougars improved to 4-2 on the year while Tech dropped to 2-4. Houston continues in the College Classic tomorrow at noon taking on Oklahoma.
The Cougars were clinging to a 5-3 lead heading into the ninth, but with one out Jimmy Raviele walked Jeremy Mayo to bring Tully to the mound. Tully gave up back-to-back singles to load the bases before striking out Doug Thennis for the second out. Tully then walked Joey Kenworthy to force in the fourth run but then induced a fielder's choice ground out to earn his first save of the season.
Wes Musick pitched six and two-thirds innings and gave up just one run before turning the game over the UH bullpen. Musick improved to 2-0 on the season, while striking out four and scattering five hits in his second start of the season.
The Red Raiders scratched out a run in the bottom of the first without the benefit of a hit. Musick walked Thennis on four straight pitches to begin the game, and then Thennis advanced to second on a Musick wild pitch. Thennis moved to third on a groundout to Ryan Lormand and then scored on a groundout to Blake Kelso.
In the top of the third the Cougars took the lead on a two-out, two-striking single to right field by Bryan Pounds. Kelso led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on a balk by Tech starter AJ Ramos, who fell to 0-2 with the loss. After two outs both Jake Stewart and Jimmy Cesario coaxed walks off Ramos to set the stage for Pounds. On a 0-2 pitch Pounds laced a single into right field to easily plate both Kelso and Stewart.
The Cougars scored single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to increase their lead to 5-1. Chase Dempsay ripped a double to right field, and the Cougars followed with Tully getting plunked by Ramos and pinch hitter Matt Murphy working a walk to load the bases. Kelso, too, was hit by a pitch to force in a run. The Cougars threat ended when Zak Presley filed out to left field.
In the seventh inning Houston had an opportunity for a big inning but was able to muster only one run. Lormand led off with a single and promptly stole second base. Stewart doubled down the right field line to score Lormand, and Cesario followed with a walk. The Cougars then produced two straight fielders choices before Cesario was caught trying to steal home in a thwarted double-steal attempt.
Houston added what would be the winning run on a towering home run by Tully when he led off the eighth.
Dempsay worked himself into trouble in the eighth when he dropped an easy pop up from Chris Hall. After two outs Joey Kensworthy laced a double into the left-field gap to score Hall, and then Dempsay walked Jason Seefeld to put runners at first and second, prompting a call to the bullpen. Raviele came on and was greeted by Roger Kieschnick who ripped a double to the right-field wall to score Kensworthy. Raviele then struck out Chris Richburg to end the threat.
The Cougar defense produced two big plays early that prevented Texas Tech scores. In the fourth inning Tully threw out Jason Seefeld at the plate, and then in the fifth, Lormand gunned down Monk Kreder trying to score on an infield groundout. Finally, just one inning later Lormand made a great play up the middle to flip to Kelso and over to Pounds for the 4-6-3 double play that thwarted another Red Raider threat.
As mentioned Tully registered the second homerun/save combination in his career, which is the sixth time in UH history for this rare feat to be accomplished. Jesse Crain and Shane Buteaux both accomplished the feat twice in their respective careers.