March 2, 2013
HOUSTON -- Houston Baseball produced a first-inning grand slam by junior Jonathan Davis and tallied a College Classic record-tying 14 base on balls to walk away with a 15-4 seven-inning, run-rule win over Baylor on Saturday afternoon in the Astros Foundation College Classic at Minute Maid Park.
Win: Austin Pruitt (3-0)
Loss: Austin Stone (0-1)
|Josh Vidales||0||1||0||0||4||0||Kyle Survance||3||3||2||1||1||0||Caleb Barker||3||0||1||4||1||0||Kyle Kirk||5||2||1||3||0||0|
NUMBERS OF NOTE
1 Junior Jonathan Davis hit his first career homerun, which happened to be a grand slam, in the first inning off of Baylor starter Austin Stone. The grand slam was also the Cougars' first since Jake Runte's slam against UTPA on April 4, 2009.
4 Josh Vidales has reached base to lead off the game in four consecutive contests. Vidales' four walks were also enough to set a College Classic record in a single-game.
5 With the win against the Bears, the Cougars have now one five straight games. The last time the Cougars accomplished this feat was during the 2010 season.
14 The Cougars drew a total of 14 walks in the ballgame against Baylor, tying them with the 2010 Texas Tech Red Raiders, for most all-time in the College Classic.
The win propelled Houston to an 8-2 record and 2-0 start at the College Classic for the second-straight year. The Cougars now are 18-20 in Classic games and have now won five straight this season.
14 walks accompanied six hits for 15 runs - a season-high and last since a 16-1 win over Delaware on Feb. 18, 2012 to send Baylor to a 4-6 record and 1-1 mark in the tournament.
Senior Austin Pruitt (6.0,5,4,4,3,7) fanned seven in his 6.0 innings of work, but was tagged with his first runs of the year, allowing four on five hits and three walks. However, the Woodlands, Texas native, went on to improve to 3-0 on the year with today's win.
Davis (1x2, 3 R, 4 RBI) lit up the Minute Maid Park jumbo-tron with his grand slam into the Crawford Boxes, which also happened to be his first career homerun - sparking a Houston scoring threat in the first inning. The grand slam was the first hit by a Cougar since Jake Runte belted one back on April 4, 2009 vs. UTPA.
Houston's six hits came in key situations as several Cougars notched career-bests, including junior Caleb Barker (1x3 4 RBI) and freshman Kyle Kirk (1x5, 2 RBI, 3 RBI), who recorded a career-high four and three RBI, respectively. Freshman Kyle Survance (2x3, 3 R, RBI) drove in a run and scored three times, while producing a multi-hit game.
Freshman Josh Vidales (4 BB, R) tied a College Classic record with four walks in a single game, surpassing the previous of three, which happened 14 times, last back in 2011 for Kentucky's Thomas McCarthy.
Also drawing multi free passes was Davis with three, and junior Frankie Ratcliff and sophomore Price Jacobs with two.
Setting the table for the four-run first was leadoff hitter Vidales, who worked an impressive seven-pitch at-bat to draw a leadoff walk--now reaching base for the fourth straight time to leadoff game.
Kirk followed by reaching on a throwing error, while Ratcliff walked to load the bases for Davis.
With a 4-0 lead, Pruitt held Baylor hitless in the first - allowing Houston to add to its lead with its second five-run inning of the weekend and fourth time this season to go up 9-0.
The five-run second was sparked by a one-out, two-run single by Kirk, down the left field line and a bases-clearing double to left center by Barker, which plated three - a career-best for the junior transfer.
Pruitt works his way out of a first and third jam to keep the Bears off the scoreboard in the second.
Houston had a chance to add more to its run total in the fourth, but stranded bases loaded after two walks and a Baylor error. The Bears would be the first team this season to score against Pruitt as they tact on two runs in the fourth on four hits. Pruitt was able to escape the bases loaded jam with back-to-back strikeouts to hold Houston's lead at 9-2.
The Cougars would add two more in the top of the fifth after two walks, a hit-by-pitch, an RBI-fielder's choice by Kirk and a sacrifice fly by Ratcliff.
Up 11-2, Baylor would respond with two of its own in the latter half of the fifth on a leadoff walk and RBI-double.
But Houston's patience at the plate continued as the Cougars built on its lead with two more runs in the sixth on two hits and two walks to go up 13-4.
Pruitt retired the side in the sixth with two groundouts and his seventh strikeout of the night.
Two runs in the seventh on two walks and a sacrifice fly proved to be enough for junior transfer Dylan Rucker (1.0,0,0,0,0,2), who tossed a hitless seventh, fanning two out of the pen.
Baylor starter Austin Stone (1.0,2,6,5,3,1) was tagged with the loss to fall to 0-1 after surrendering five earned runs on two hits, including a grand slam to Davis, and three walks.
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Todd Whitting
On the team's mental approach at the plate
"For a young team to come out, and take that many walks is impressive. It's easy to go there as young hitters and start swinging away. Our approach at the plate tonight was outstanding."
On Josh Vidales setting the tone at the top of the lineup
"Vidales set a College Classic record tonight with four walks in a game. That's how you draw it up from your leadoff guy is getting on base all the time. So far through the first couple of games he's done exactly that."
On Jonathan Davis' grand slam
"When you can jump out, and put a four spot on the board before they can even record an out that's sets a good tone for the rest of the game. I'm really proud of JD. He's playing great defense right now. He's always been able to hit, he was one of the top ten hitters in our league last year."
FRESHMAN SECOND BASEMAN Josh Vidales
On the team victory over Baylor
"It was a big win for our team, after getting the win last night against Texas A&M we wanted to start strong against Baylor. We came out in the first inning and put up a four spot, then came right back in the second inning and put up a five spot. Austin Pruitt did a great job of coming off the bench (after sitting through two long innings) on a cold night, and pitching well like he normally does."
On setting a College Classic record with four walks in a game
"I had the same approach going up to the plate, not to try and do anything special just get the next guy up. Being able to foul balls off and attack pitches in the zone and the rest will fall into place."
JUNIOR THIRD BASEMAN Jonathan Davis
On the win today
"It was a great win for us today. We got a lot of momentum coming into today from the win over Texas A&M last night. For us it's all about proving people wrong everyday."
On the grand slam
"I went up there with the approach of just trying to get the guy in. I was looking for something to hit, and the guy threw me a 3-1 fastball, and I was able to put a good swing on it."
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Adult tickets are available for a $15 daily admission, as well as a $36 three-day tournament pass. Tickets for high school and college students, with a valid student ID, and children (ages 4-14) are available for $10 daily and $21 for a tournament pass.
Astros season ticket holders (27-game packages and up) are offered a $10 daily ticket and a $24 tournament pass. Reserved seating is also available in the Insperity Club for $30 per game.
THE ASTROS FOUNDATION COLLEGE CLASSIC SCHEDULE
Sunday, March 3 - TICKET INFORMATION
11:00 am | California vs. Houston
2:00 pm | Texas A&M vs. North Carolina
5:30 pm | Baylor vs. Rice
Parking will be available in the Astros' controlled lots B & C for $5 per day.
Houston will wrap up the Astros Foundation College Classic at 11 a.m. Sunday when it plays Cal at Minute Maid Park. The game will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet (CSN) Houston.
Following the weekend action, Houston will return to Cougar Field for five games next week, beginning with a two-game series on Tuesday (6:30 pm) and Wednesday (4 pm) against Penn State and a weekend series vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (6:30 pm/6:30 pm/1 pm).