March 5, 2014
HOUSTON - Houston Baseball used 17 hits, highlighted by a program-record six hits by senior Frankie Ratcliff and a combined shutout effort by five Cougar pitchers en route to a 10-0 run-rule victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Wednesday afternoon at Cougar Field.
The win improve to 9-2 on the year and 7-0 at home this season. The 7-0 start by Houston Baseball at Cougar Field is the best home start to open a season since opening 7-0 in 2006.
A 17-hit barrage was led by Ratcliff, who broke the Houston Baseball single-game record with six hits in a single game to finish 6-for-6 with three runs scored and three RBI. He was followed by sophomore Justin Montemayor's three-for-five effort and one RBI, while sophomore Kyle Survance was two-for-two with two runs and two RBI, while drawing two walks.
Adding to the hit parade was sophomore Josh Vidales with two hits, two runs and two RBI to accompany two walks, while sophomore Ashford Fulmer contributed with two base knocks, one run and one walk. Senior Casey Grayson (1x4, R, BB) and freshman Jordan Stading (1x4, R) each tallied a hit and scored a run.
The Cougars drew nine walks in the win, the most since registering 10 in a win over Texas Southern on April 16, 2013 at home. He 17 hits were the most by Houston since tallying 18 in a loss at Marshall on April 5, 2013.
Houston used five pitchers in the shutout win to notch its sixth shutout of the season - the most in the nation.
Getting the nod to start was junior David Longville (3.1,3,0,0,0,2) who fanned two and allowed three hits in 3.1 innings of work. He was then relieved by junior Matt Locus (1.2,1,0,0,0,1) who earned his first win as a Cougar - to improve to 1-0 on the year. He allowed just one hit with one strikeout in 1.2 innings out of the pen.
Senior Aaron Stewart (0.1,1,0,0,1,0) worked 0.1 innings and handed the ball over to freshman Kirby Peek (1.2,1,0,0,1,0) who made his collegiate debut and was impressive, allowing just one hit and one walk in 1.2 innings in relief. Freshman teammate, Andrew Lantrip (1.0,0,0,0,0,1), made his collegiate debut as well, and was equally impressive, tossing a hitless inning with one strikeout.
Houston opened strong with a run in the first to take a 1-0 lead on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Ratcliff got things rolling with a one-out single and later scored after Montemayor and Vidales notched back-to-back hits with two outs.
Longville worked 3.0 scoreless innings before being lifted by Locus, who helped keep the Islanders off the board, stranding two in the fourth, including a runner at third.
The Cougars used three straight scoring innings in the fourth, fifth and sixth to plate six runs for a 7-0 lead after six frames.
Vidales opened the fourth with his second hit of the day and later came around to score the inning's lone run on a walk and wild pitches. The Cougars used two hits, including an RBI double by Montemayor and an RBI-groundout by Vidales to score Ratcliff and Grayson who tallied a hit and walk, respectively.
Ahead 4-0, the Cougars went on to bat the entire order in the sixth to score three following four hits. Fulmer opened with a one-out single, followed by Houston's first triple of the year off the bat of Survance, who plated Fulmer. An RBI-single by Ratcliff and a single and walk by Montemayor and Vidales set up a bases-loaded situation for Barker to rack up an RBI on a walk, scoring Ratcliff.
The Cougars would use a one-run seventh and two-run eighth to end the game in eight innings after a predetermined run-rule was decided. Ratcliff plated Survance, who walked, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
With bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Ratcliff came through for the sixth time tonight, driving in Vidales for the winning run after Survance drew a bases loaded walk.
"I felt like tonight was a complete game. I'm really proud of the ballclub for the bounce back win. We had two tough losses over the weekend, so I was anxious to see how they would respond coming into tonight against a really good team. (Andrew) Lantrip and (Kirby) Peek are two freshmen that had not had a chance to pitch this year, I was real proud of their effort out there. They will earn their way into throwing more innings. We played great defense tonight, and got big hits. When you get double-digit runs, and double-digit hits, usually you're going to be successful."
On the road trip to California this weekend
"Our weekend will be just like last weekend in that we have three quality opponents, three regional type opponents. It'll be a huge test for us. It'll be the first true road trip for the team where we have to get on a plane, and go somewhere. It'll be a great experience-filled weekend for the Coogs."
On setting the school record with six hits in a game
"It feels good to go out there, and get hits like that. I think the entire team did a god job of going to the plate and battling. Coach (Mike) Taylor has done a great job of working on our swings, and hitting the ball down. That's what we did today, we all hit the ball well. I'm thankful for getting the school record. It's something under my belt, but we're going to keep moving on to win more games."
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.
The Cougars leave the city of Houston for the first time this season this weekend when they travel out west to California to take part in the Dodgertown Classic. Houston is set to play USC on Friday at 8 p.m. CT, No. 9 UCLA at 4 pm CT Saturday and Pepperdine at 1 p.m. CT Sunday. All games will be played at the respective teams home fields.