March 5, 2004
BATON ROUGE, La. - Top-ranked LSU scored three runs in the fifth inning to break a tie on the way to a 9-3 win over the University of Houston baseball team Friday in the first game of a non-conference series at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.
The Tigers (11-1) started the fifth inning with four consecutive hits and a walk and scored the inning's first run on J.C. Holt's RBI-double. Ryan Patterson followed with an RBI-single through the Cougar infield. After a Cougar pitching change, Clay Harris lifted a sacrifice fly into left field for the third and final run.
UH (4-8) answered with a run of its own in the next half inning. Cole Bruce smashed a double into left center and moved to third base on a groundout. After a walk to Nick Bott, Brian Martin slapped a line drive down the left field line that hit the first base bag and caromed into shallow left field, allowing Bruce to score easily.
However, that would be as close as UH would get the rest of the evening.
Bruce went 3-for-4 with a run and two doubles to lead the Cougar offense, which pounded out 10 hits in the game. Travis Tully also batted 3-for-4 and added a run while Stuart Musslewhite went 2-for-5 with an RBI in the losing effort.
UH starter Garrett Mock dropped to 0-4 after giving up four runs off eight hits with a pair of walks in four innings of work. LSU starter Justin Meier improved to 3-0 after allowing two runs off 10 hits with four strikeouts in 7.1 innings.
The Cougars continue the series when they meet the Tigers at 2 p.m., Saturday. UH senior righthander Matt Varner (2-1, 4.15) is expected to take the hill with LSU sending junior southpaw Lane Mestepey (2-0, 1.53) to the mound.
That game can be heard live on KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com. Fans also can follow the action through live stats by clicking on the Gametracker at the bottom of the main page at www.UHCougars.com.
The Cougars grabbed the early lead in the second inning with a single run. After back-to-back singles from Brett Cooley and Bruce to lead off the frame, Cooley moved to third on Rob Johnson's deep fly ball to right field. The senior DH then scored when a breaking pitch in the dirt got away from Tiger catcher Matt Liuzza.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the third inning when Patterson scored on Matt Liuzza's sacrifice fly to center field.
Following LSU's big inning in the fifth, Jon Zeringue's two-out double with the bases loaded scored two more runs. In the eighth, Patterson and Blake Gill each rapped out RBI-single with Gill scoring on the Cougars' third error of the evening later in the inning.
Musslewhite slapped an RBI-single in the top of the ninth inning for the final margin of victory.
Patterson batted 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs, and Gill went 3-for-5 with a run and RBI to lead the Tigers offensively.