March 1, 2014
HOUSTON - After rallying back in the ninth to create a buzz, Houston Baseball was just inches short of tying the game in the ninth, but would eventually see its rally end, falling to No. 15 Texas, 3-2, on Saturday evening at Minute Maid Park.
The Cougars enter Sunday's Houston College Classic finale vs. TCU at 5:05 p.m. with a 1-1 weekend record and a solid 8-1 start to the 2014 season.
Houston would settled down in the later innings, retiring 15 straight Texas hitters as sophomore starter Jake Lemoine and senior reliever Aaron Stewart combined for five straight strikeouts during that stretch to keep the score within striking distance.
Despite being down 3-1 heading into the ninth, the Cougars didn't let up when freshman pinch hitter Jordan Stading opened the frame with a one-out infield single and then advanced to second on a Texas throwing error. Lifted by a pinch hitter in junior Cole Coakley, the Cougars put runners at first and third following another infield single by junior Michael Pyeatt and a defensive miscue by the left side of the Longhorn defense. Senior Jacob Lueneburg would then beat the ball out, reaching on a fielder's choice, picking up the RBI to make it a 3-2 game.
The Cougars had a hit in the first six innings, but only one run was able to cross, which came in the second. The rally came a few innings too late as Texas grabbed a 3-1 lead after the third.
To open the scoring for Houston, the Cougars used a leadoff double by senior Casey Grayson and an RBI-single by senior Landon Appling in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead on Texas, however it was the Cougar defense that scuffled a bit in the latter half of the frame, allowing two Longhorns to reach and one to score on fielding errors
Tied at 1-1, Texas plated two in the third when it opened the frame with a single and RBI-double. They went on two score the second run following Houston's fourth error of the game.
Lemoine (7.0,3,3,1,1,6) dealt all game, working around four defensive miscues to retire 13 Longhorn hitters in a row from the end of the third through the seventh, including retiring the side on three straight strikeout looking calls in the seventh.
Unfortunately, he was tagged with his first loss of the season, falling to 1-1 on the year. Lemoine allowed just one earned run on three Texas hits and one walk in 7.0 complete innings, while fanning six.
This start marked the seventh game this season Houston starters have lasted at least 7.0 innings. The one earned run allowed by Lemoine tonight was the first run allowed by the Bridge City, Texas native this season.
Houston out hit Texas, 9-4 as Grayson and sophomore Kyle Survance led the offensive with a 2-for-4 efforts. Picking up RBIs in the game were Appling (1x2, RBI) and Lueneburg (0x4, FC, RBI). Adding a hit to the mix was Vidales (1x5), senior Caleb Barker (1x3), Stading (1x1) and Pyeatt (1x1).
Stewart (1.0,1,0,0,0,2) fanned two in his 1.0 inning relief effort, allowing no runs and just one hit.
Houston held the Longhorns to just four hits, tying the least amount of hits for the season as Texas was last held to four hits in a 2-1 win over UT-Pan American.
"I thought (Jake) Lemoine threw extremely well. We've only made six errors all year, and we made four tonight. We haven't done that all year. We have a good team, Texas has a great ballclub. (Parker) French was outstanding tonight commanding his fastball. We had nine hits on the board, but he got really tough with runners in scoring position. My kids play hard, and the game is never over with us. I'm extremely proud of their effort throughout the entire game."
HOUSTON vs. TCU
- TCU and Houston will face each other for the 100th time in program history on Sunday.
- Houston currently owns the all-time series, 52-45-2, dating back to 1973.
- TCU has won six of the last seven, including a series win in Fort Worth during the 2011 season.
- The last two times these two teams met in the Houston College Classic was in a 6-4 TCU win on February 11, 2006.
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
Sunday, March 2
Houston: LHP Jared West (So., Frierson, La.) - 2.53 ERA, 1-0, 10.2 IP, 0 BB, 8 K
TCU: LHP Tyler Alexander (Fr., Southlake, Texas) - 1.69 ERA, 1-1, 10.2 IP, 1 BB, 4 K
SUNDAY, MARCH 2
Texas vs. Sam Houston State | 10:05 a.m.
Rice vs. Texas Tech | 1:35 p.m.
TCU vs. Houston | 5:05 p.m.
Fans wishing to purchase tickets to the Houston College Classic should visit www.astros.com/collegeclassic. All parking/ticket/schedule information is available at that link. Single-day and tournament passes are both available as well as discounted student and youth tickets.
All ticket sales go through the Houston Astros Box Office, not through the Houston Athletics Ticket Office.
Stay up to date with all Houston Baseball news and highlights by following us on Twitter @UHCougarBB or on Facebook at /HoustonCougarBaseball. Fans can also follow head coach Todd Whitting @toddwhitting on Twitter.
Houston will wrap up play in the Houston College Classic in the final game of the weekend when it plays TCU at 5:05 p.m. at Minute Maid Park. The Cougars will then return to Cougar Field to host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday with first pitch slated for 6 p.m. - Note: 6 p.m. start rather than 6:30 p.m. to accommodate fans wishing to attend the MBB game vs. USF at 7:30 p.m.