Ninth Inning Rally Leads Baseball to Victory
March 8, 2002
LAFAYETTE, La. - The University of Houston baseball used a two-out, three-run rally in the top of the ninth inning to take a 5-2 win over No. 27 Louisiana-Lafayette in the first game of a three-game series at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field on Friday night.
The Cougars, ranked No. 10 in the latest Baseball America poll, continue their stay in Cajun country at 2 p.m. Saturday and wrap up the series at 1 p.m. Sunday. Fans can listen to the game on KGBC AM 1540 and can also access the game over the Internet at www.kgbcradio.cc.
UH won its fifth straight game and its seventh in its last eight contests. The Cougars also improved their record to 10-3 against nationally-ranked opponents.
Cougar starter Brad Sullivan tossed his finest game of the season with a career-best 10 strikeouts - the first double-digit strikeout performance by a UH hurler this season - and only four hits and two runs (one earned) in 8.0 innings, his longest outing of the year, to improve to 3-0 this season.
After the Cajuns tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning at 2-2 on Chase Lambin's solo home run, the Cougars (10-4) struck for three runs in the top of the next inning, thanks to four hits and two costly Cajun errors. Cole Bruce started the rally with two outs and Michael Bourn kept it going with an infield single.
Anthony Scalise then laced a single to right field, and when UL Lafayette right fielder Corey Coles misplayed the ball, Bruce scored from third base to give the Cougars a 3-2 lead. Jesse Crain plated Bourn with an RBI single up the middle and Scalise tallied the Cougars final run of the night when Chris Snyder reached on the second Cajun error in the frame.
Senior reliever Nathan Mitchell pitched a perfect ninth inning for his second save of the year.
The Cougars pounded out 11 hits in the win with Bruce going 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs to lead the way. Scalise and Stuart Musslewhite added two-hit performances for the Cougars.
UL Lafayette starter Justin Gabriel dropped to 2-1 after giving up nine hits and four runs in 8.2 innings.