March 6, 2013
HOUSTON -- Behind an impressive relief outing by junior Tyler Ford, errorless baseball and an explosive season-best 14-hit performance, the University of Houston baseball team notched win No. 10 on the year following a 15-5 victory over Penn State on Wednesday evening at Cougar Field.
Win: Tyler Ford (1-0)
Loss: Tim Dunn (0-1)
|Frankie Ratcliff||4||1||2||4||2||1||Ashford Fulmer||3||2||2||2||1||0||Caleb Barker||6||0||2||2||0||0||Justin Montemayor||5||1||2||1||1||0|
NUMBERS OF NOTE
7 Houston started a season-high seven freshmen in today's win as Vidales, Kirk, Montemayor, Survance, Campbell, Fulmer and West all saw action in the starting lineup. 10 The Cougars were the first Conference USA team to notch 10 wins this season after sweeping the midweek series vs. Penn State.
14 Houston notched a season-high 14 hits, surpassing the previous high of 13, which came in a win at Texas State on Feb. 24.
36 The Cougars have drawn 36 base on balls in the last four games for an average of nine per game -- including nine in today's win.
Houston was the first Conference USA school to record 10 wins this season after the Cougars swept the midweek series with the Nittany Lions to improve to 10-3 this season and 2-0 against Penn State all-time.
The Cougars tallied a season-high 14 hits and tied their season-best scoring effort with 15 runs, which last came in a 15-4, seven-inning win over Baylor at the College Classic.
Pitching out of the pen for just the fifth time as a Cougar and totaling just 1.1 innings in those four previous appearances, Ford (5.1,5,1,1,1,2) was lights out in his season-long 5.1 innings out of the pen. He earned his first win in a Houston uniform after allowing just five hits and one run, while fanning two to keep Penn State off the board, allowing the Cougars to rally from an early deficit.
Houston's 14 hits and five extra base hits, including two triples came on five multi-hit efforts, led by sophomore Michael Pyeatt's 3-for-3 performance off the bench, driving in two and scoring a run.
Notching two hits and driving in a Cougar career-best four RBI was junior Frankie Ratcliff (2x4, R, 4 RBI, 3B) who tripled for the second time this season. Freshman Ashford Fulmer (2x3, 2 R, 2 RBI) recorded his second straight two-hit game, while driving in two on a double. Freshman Justin Montemayor (2x5, R, RBI) and junior Caleb Barker (2x6, 2 RBI) each added two hits and drove in a combined three RBI.
Freshman Jacob Campbell (1x5, 2 R, RBI, 3B) tripled and drove in a run, while freshmen Kyle Kirk (1x4, 3 R, RBI) and Josh Vidales (1x4, 4 R) added hits.
Vidales got things rolling with his leadoff double, allowing Ratcliff to drive him home on a sharp single up the middle to put Houston up 1-0 after the first. Penn State tallied four consecutive hits in top of the second en route to four runs for a 4-1 lead.
The Cougars regrouped and responded offensively with four of their own--thanks to three Nittany Lions errors.
Ford, who was second out of the pen for Houston, threw three scoreless innings and helped the Cougars extend their offensive lead with five more runs to go up 10-4.
Houston exploded for five runs in the third, stringing together four hits and drawing three consecutive walks -led by two, two-outs doubles off the bat of Pyeatt and Fulmer. Barker contributes to the big inning with his two-out, two-run single.
After being held scoreless for three frames, Houston struck for two runs in the bottom of the seventh on a bases loaded walk by Montemayor and an RBI-single by Pyeatt.
Up 12-5, two triples off the bats of Ratcliff and Campbell highlighted the eighth inning - giving Houston the 15-5 win.
Getting his first collegiate start, freshman Jared West (1.2,2,4,4,1,0) tossed 1.2 innings, allowing four runs on two hits and a walk. Out of the pen ahead of Ford was junior Daniel Smith (0.0,2,0,0,0,0) and after Ford - closing the gates were sophomore Logan Piper (1.0,1,0,0,0,0) and freshman Grant Slaughter (1.0,0,0,0,0,1), who combined for two scoreless frames.
Penn State committed six errors and starter Tim Dunn (2.2,7,10,6,3,0) was tagged with the loss.
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Todd Whitting
Thoughts on the game
"I'm extremely happy with the way we played tonight. Tonight, in our starting lineup, we had seven freshmen, and that's scary-doesn't matter who you are playing. With seven freshmen out there performing the way that they did, I'm really proud of the ballclub. We got down early, but answered right back. They scored four, and then we scored four, then in the next inning scored five. Those are signs of championship baseball. We still have to have the ability to put this one behind us, and get ready to see a really good [Texas A&M] Corpus Christi team. Right now we have to stay healthy. We have to get (Jonathan) Davis back, and get (Kyle) Survance going again. I'm really pleased with the ballclub, the effort has been outstanding to this point."
JUNIOR LHP Tyler Ford
On his role coming out of the pen
"Right now I'm just focused on throwing strikes, and pounding the zone. Being able to get batters out is crucial for me."
FRESHMAN OUTFIELDER Ashford Fulmer
On your performance this series against Penn State
"My performance has definitely gone up these last couple of days. I tweaked a couple of things in my batting stance. Nothing too serious, but baseball is a game of adjustments. I just made a slight adjustment and ended up with a big result."
On the win tonight
"This win certainly gives us a lot of momentum. We are playing great baseball right now, scoring a lot of runs. We are coming together, we have a lot of freshman on the team, and if we can keep scoring runs we'll win a lot of games."
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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.