March 4, 2007
HOUSTON - Dylan Libadisos's double in the top of the 10th inning broke a tie and lifted Northwestern State to a 6-5 win over the University of Houston baseball team Sunday in the finale of a non-conference series at Cougar Field.
The Demons (6-9), who won their third consecutive weekend series over the Cougars in Houston, scored four runs during the final three innings to win the game and the regular-season series.
Brandon Richey reached on a UH infield error to lead off the 10th and moved into scoring position following Roberto Gallegos' sacrifice bunt. Libadisos then laced an RBI-double into right center to plate Richey and give the Demons the lead for good.
The final two innings went back and forth between the two teams. With UH leading 3-2 and entering the eighth inning, the Demons tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the eighth before the Cougars grabbed a 5-3 lead with two runs in the bottom of the frame. NSU rallied with two runs in the ninth inning to force extra frames before taking the win in the 10th inning.
NSU reliever Alex Baboulas collected the win and improved to 1-0 after holding the Cougars retiring all four batters he faced. Ryan Campbell picked up his team-leading third save, including second in the series - after throwing a shutout 10th inning.
UH freshman righthander John Touchton was the no-luck loser after allowing an unearned run off three hits with a strikeout in two innings of relief.
Libadisos went 2-for-4 with a double and game-high three RBIs to lead the NSU offense, which outhit the Cougars 10-8. Mike Jaworski and Justin O'Neal each batted 2-for-4 with an RBI in the winning effort.
Junior infielder Ryan Lormand went 2-for-5 with an RBI, while junior Bryan Tully batted 2-for-5 with a solo homer and two RBIs. Sophomore DH Jimmy Cesario went 0-for-5 to see his season-best, eight-game hitting streak come to an end.
With the loss, the Cougars fell to 7-9 overall while Northwestern State improved to 6-9 with the win.
The Cougars (7-9) continue their season-long, eight-game homestand when they play host to Lamar at 7 p.m., Tuesday. Cougar Baseball games can be heard live on UHCougars.com with former Cougar letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans can follow live stats by clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the front page of UHCougars.com or on the Schedule and Results page off the Baseball main page.
The Cougars struck for the game's first run in the second inning when Tully smashed a 2-1 offering over the left-field wall for a 1-0 UH lead.
The score remained that way until the fourth inning when NSU grabbed a 2-1 lead following back-to-back RBI-singles from Libadisos and Jaworski.
The Cougars knotted the game again at 2-2 in the next half inning. Luis Flores slapped a one-out single into center field and came all the way around when Bryan Pounds laced a double to the wall in left center.
UH regained the lead in the fifth inning thanks to a hit and an NSU error in the outfield. Josh Stirneman reached third on the Demon two-out miscue and scored easily when Tully slapped a single into left field.
NSU came back to tie the game in the eighth inning. Richey led off with a triple to center field and eventually came around to score on Libadisos' sacrifice fly to left field.
The Cougars broke the tie in the eighth inning off a hit and NSU error. After drawing a leadoff walk, Pounds scored when Zak Presley's fly ball was misplayed in left field. Lormand then scored Pounds from second base with an RBI-single into right center.
The score did not stay that way long as the Demons answered with two runs in the top of the ninth inning. O'Neal and Knox McCorguodale each rapped out RBI-singles to tie the game at 5-5, and NSU continued to threaten with pinch runner Clay Baker on third base and two outs. But, Touchton struck out Chase Lyles looking to end the threat.