March 1, 2002
FULLERTON, Calif. - The University of Houston baseball team used a two-out, three-run rally late to break open a close game and claim a 7-3 win over No. 8 Cal State Fullerton on Friday during the first day of the Kia Baseball Bash at Goodwin Field.
The Cougars continue their stay at the tournament when they face No. 17 USC at 4:30 p.m. (Central) Saturday in the first game of the day. The Trojans rallied for six runs in their final two at-bats to take an 11-10 win over Miami earlier Friday.
Fans can listen to the game on KGBC AM 1540 and can also access in-game stats over the Internet at http://www.titansports.org/baseball/2002/kiabash.html.
With the win, UH collected its first victory over the Titans and snapped a seven-game losing streak to CSUF in the all-time series, which dates back to the 1982 season.
Holding a slim 4-3 lead entering the seventh inning, UH (7-4) struck for three unearned runs, thanks to three hits and a key Titan error in the infield. Gabe Lucas started the rally with two outs after a sharp single to right field and moved to second base when Michael Bourn drew a walk.
After a passed ball from Titan starter Wes Littleton, Jesse Crain laced a sharp grounder, but CSUF third baseman Richie Burgos bounced in the dirt, allowing Lucas and Bourn to score and Crain to reach second base.
Junior catcher Chris Snyder then capped the rally when his single through the left side allowed Crain to score and give UH a 7-3 lead. It also extended Snyder's hitting streak to seven games, second longest by a Cougar this season.
That would be all the run support that UH reliever Nathan Mitchell would need. The Houston native allowed only one hit to go with three strikeouts in 4.1 innings of relief to collect his first win of the season and improve to 1-0.
Although the Cougars saw their team streak with at least 10 hits end at four games, UH still pounded out nine hits on the night. Lucas led all players tied a personal high by going 3-for-4 with a career-best three runs, while Thanos Papavasiliou went 2-for-4 in the winning effort.
Crain saw his UH season-best eight-game hitting streak snapped after finishing the night 0-for-4 with a run.
CSUF (9-5) rapped out only seven hits with no player collecting more than one in the game. Littleton dropped to 3-2 after allowing eight hits and seven runs in 7.0 innings of work.