Baseball Uses Small Ball to Garner 14-8 Win Over Penn State
March 5, 2013
HOUSTON -- The University of Houston baseball team broke up an 8-8 tie in the seventh inning, scoring four runs en route to a 14-8 win over Penn State on Tuesday at Cougar Field.
FINAL | Cougar Field
Win: Jake Lemoine (3-0)
NUMBERS OF NOTE
3 With the win tonight, Jake Lemoine improved his season record to 3-0, with all three wins coming in relief.
4 The Cougars had a season high four sacrifice hits, two of which scored runs on squeeze plays. The four topped the previous high of three set against Texas State on Feb. 24.
7 With his infield single in the second inning, junior Jonathan Davis extended his hit streak to seven consecutive games.
11 The Cougars tallied 11 walks in the game. This is the second time this year Houston has worked more than 10 walks in a game.
Freshman Jake Lemoine (3.0,0,0,0,1,0) notched his third win as a Cougar and improved to 3-0 with his 3.0-inning hitless outing, allowing just one free pass.
The win is the third for the Bridge City, Texas native - all of which have come out of the pen this season.
Houston racked up 11 hits as four Cougars notched a multi-hit game. Freshman Kyle Kirk (2x5, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB) drove in two on two hits and scored two runs, while fellow freshman Justin Montemayor (2x4, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB) added two hits, scored three runs and drove in two on his first-inning double.
Redshirt freshman Ashford Fulmer (2x3, R, RBI, 2 BB) and junior Caleb Barker (2x3, RBI) each added two base knocks and an RBI for the Cougars, while freshman Kyle Survance (1x4, 3 R, 2 RBI) drove in two on a single and three runs scored.
As a team, Houston notched a season-best four sacrifice bunts - two of which came off the bat of junior Landon Appling, one from Survance and one from Vidales.
Junior Jonathan Davis (1x1, R, RBI, BB) extended his hit streak to seven games with his single in the second inning, while freshman Jacob Campbell (1x1, RBI) picked up his first collegiate hit and RBI.
Sophomore starter Aaron Garza (4.1,7,5,3,0,5) struck out a career-best five in 4.1 innings of work, but was granted a no-decision.
Junior Dylan Rucker (1.2,2,3,1,0,2) pitched 1.2 innings out of the pen, allowing one earned run on three hits with two strikeouts.
Penn State struck for two runs in the top of the first on three hits, but Houston quickly opened the scoring gates with six runs in the latter half of the frame, a season-best.
A Ratcliff and freshman Josh Vidales walks along with a Kirk single set the table for a bases loaded walk by Davis and a two-run double by Montemayor to give Houston the 3-2 lead. With one out, Campbell picked up his first collegiate RBI on a deep sacrifice fly to right field to put Houston up 4-2.
Survance and Fulmer followed with back-to-back, two-out RBI-singles to extend the Cougars' first-inning rally to six runs.
Houston picked up two more runs in the bottom half of the second on a Penn State miscue after Davis laid down a perfectly placed bunt to the third baseman. Garza went on to toss three hitless innings, but Penn State would find a way to plate three runs over the fifth and sixth innings to tie the game at 8-8.
Small ball for Houston in the seventh inning led to a four-run inning. With the first two hitters reaching base, Appling and Survance both plated runs with perfectly executed bunts. The Cougars went on to bat around for the second inning of the game.
Up 12-8, Lemoine shut the Nittany Lions down - allowing Houston to extend its late lead to 14-8 with two runs in the eighth, which included RBI-singles by Barker and Kirk.
Houston tallied 11 walks for the second-most this season - and a total of 27 in the last three games, while the Cougar pitching staff walked just one.
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Todd Whitting
Thoughts on the game
"We had a great team effort tonight. Giving up two runs, then being able to score four, and then be up 6-2 in a situation that looked bleak early. We didn't get out of the box very well but we responded to it. Middle innings we took our foot off the gas pedal, but that's one trait of a young team. Sometimes they'll cruise and think we have the game won. Penn State is a good program and they just kept fighting, and we fell asleep in the middle innings. I'm really proud of the ball club for picking it up late. Not just scoring enough runs to win, but putting a bunch of runs on the board."
HOUSTON FRESHMAN RHP Jake Lemoine
On your role coming out of the pen
"Coming into the game I was just trying to compete to the best of my ability. Coach (Todd) Whitting preaches control your spot on the field. That's what I was trying to do, compete as hard as I could."
Single-game tickets begin as low as $6 for youth and $8 for adults in general admission seating (Level 200) and as low as $8 for youth and $10 for adults in reserved seating (Level 100). Premium games for the Cougars will include the Baylor-New Orleans weekend, which runs from March 15-17, Texas on March 19 and the Rice series on April 19-21. Premium games begin as low as $8 for youth and $10 for adults in general admission seating (Level 200) and as low as $12 for youth and $15 for adults in reserved seating (Level 100).
For single-game ticket information, contact the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647).
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The Cougars will conclude the two-game set at 4 p.m. Wednesday vs. Penn State. Houston will continue the five-game homestand when it welcomes Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to Cougar Field for a three-game set this weekend, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m., followed by a 6:30 p.m. start on Saturday and a 1 p.m. start on Sunday.