HOUSTON -No. 8 Houston Baseball scored seven runs in the final three innings to erase a 5-1 deficit and defeat Hawaii, 8-6, at Minute Maid Park in the Houston College Classic finale on Sunday evening.
The win snapped a four-game skid by the Cougars as they improved their overall record to 9-7, while Hawaii fell to 6-10 on the year. Houston finished the weekend 1-2 with losses to No. 2 LSU and No. 11 Texas A&M.
Houston reliever Seth Romero (5.1,5,2,0,2,5) was dominant in his sixth appearance of the year as he tossed a career-long 5.1 innings and struck out a career-best five hitters en route to his first collegiate win. The freshman allowed two unearned runs on five hits with two walks.
The Cougars put together one of their best offensive showings of late, tallying nine hits - four landing for extra bases, including two triples.
Leading the charge was junior Josh Vidales (3x4, 3 R, 1 RBI) with three base hits, three runs scored and an RBI, while junior Justin Montemayor (1x4, 3 RBI, 3B) recorded his first triple of the year - clearing the bases with the hit.
Junior Chris Iriart (2x3, R, RBI) drove in a run on two doubles, while junior Jacob Campbell (2x4, R, RBI) tallied two hits and picked up an RBI. Freshman Zac Taylor, off the bench, sparked the four-run inning with a leadoff triple into right center. Junior Kyle Survance (0x5, R, RBI) also drove in a run, stole a base - his 12th of the year and scored a run in the win.
Houston Baseball went ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first following an RBI-double by Iriart, scoring Vidales - who reached on a one-out single.
Senior starter Aaron Garza cruised through the first two innings, retiring the Rainbow Warriors in order in each of the frames, but ran into a bit of trouble in the third and fourth when Hawaii plated four runs on five hits and three free passes, including a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch.
Two singles and a Houston error in the fifth led to another Hawaii run as the Rainbow Warriors extended their lead to 5-1.
Bats came alive in the sixth for the Cougars as Taylor led things off with a pinch-hit triple into right center and later scoring on an RBI-groundout by Survance. Down by three, the next three players reached base as Vidales and Campbell singled and Iriart walked before Montemayor belted a bases-clearing triple to tie the game.
With two in the seventh, Houston strung together back-to-back RBI-singles by Vidales and Campbell to take its first lead of the weekend at 7-5.
Hawaii takes advantage of another miscue by the Houston defense and plates a run on an infield dribbler to shortstop to make it 7-6. Houston managed to draw a bases-loaded walk by Taylor to extend the Cougars' lead at 8-6 as Romero closed out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Houston starter Aaron Garza (3.2,5,4,4,0,2) lasted 3.2 innings, allowing four runs on five hits with two strikeouts, receiving the no decision as the Cougars erased a 5-1 deficit.
For their efforts in the weekend tournament, second baseman Josh Vidales and first baseman Chris Iriart were named to the Houston College Classic All-Tournament Team. Vidales hit .500 (5x10), scored three runs and drove in a run, while Iriart hit .222 (2x9) with two doubles and added a run and RBI, while drawing two walks.
Houston will take a midweek road trip to Huntsville, Texas on Tuesday for a 6:30 p.m. meeting with Sam Houston State at Don Sanders Stadium.
With 31 home games set for 2015 at Cougar Field and a Top 10 nationally-ranked program representing the University of Houston, the Cougars are proud to announce that single-game tickets are now on sale at UHCougars.com/Basetickets.
Along with the online option, fans can purchase tickets by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office at TDECU Stadium Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or can call 713-GO-COOGS.
Houston Baseball will offer variable pricing on its single-game tickets and group rates.
For the first time ever, the pricing breakdown will be determined whether or not you purchase your single-game tickets online vs. at the gate the day of the game as well as whether the Cougars play on a weekday (Monday-Thursday) or weekend (Friday-Sunday).
Weekday: Monday-Thursday; Weekend: Friday-Sunday.
As noted in the table, variable pricing occurs. For weekday (Tuesday nights) online purchases, fans can take in a game, ranging from $5-$7 depending on the choice of seating. If you choose to purchase the day of the game as a Weekday Walk-Up, you will pay roughly $2 more than the online price ($7-$9).
Weekend (Friday-Sunday) online pricing will range from $6-$8 per game, while Weekend Walk-Up pricing the day of the game will run a fan anywhere from $8-$10.
Group rates are also available (as noted in the table). Weekday (Tuesday) and Weekend (Friday-Sunday) pricing occurs. Groups of 10-24 are set at $4-$5 per person, while groups of 25+ are $3-$4 per person.
With single-game tickets available now, Houston Baseball still encourages supporters to become Season Ticket members and enjoy the attractive pricing and rewards that come with up-front purchasing for the entire 2015 season.
WHY ARE SEASON TICKETS MORE ATTRACTIVE?
Season Tickets are as low as $99 for general admission seating and the program offers an Anytime Tickets package that allows fans to use the 31 tickets how they choose (1 per game, multiple per game or all in one game). The Anytime Tickets are only available in general admission seating.
For just $200, you can enjoy reserved chairback seating on the lower level of the concourse at the stadium.
A new additional "Reserved 2" seating option for the 2015 season is also available with an assigned seat in sections 200, 201 and 202 for $150.
If you breakdown the season ticket pricing of $99 General Admission, the pricing of $150 for Reserved 2 or even the pricing of $200 for Reserved 1 (chairback), you are spending less money per game than purchasing single-game tickets.
HOW TO PURCHASE
To purchase tickets in advance, fans must visit the Athletics Ticket Stadium Office located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1 off Cullen Boulevard. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or you can call 713-GO-COOGS.
JOIN THE DUGOUT CLUB
Nationally-ranked Houston Baseball would like to encourage those wishing to support the efforts and success of the baseball student-athletes to consider joining the Dugout Club for as low as $25 a month or $300 annually.
For a minimum monthly installment of $25 or a minimum one-time gift of $300, supporters can take advantage of the Pinch Hitter level, which will guarantee an invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball team apparel.
For a minimum monthly installment of $100 or a minimum one-time gift of $1,000, supporters can take advantage of the Diamond level, which will guarantee batting practice passes for two to any home game, invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball apparel.
**Cougar Pride points will be applied accordingly.
For more information on joining the Dugout Club, please contact the Houston Baseball office at (713) 743-9396.
For more information regarding Cougar Pride, please call (713) 743-GOUH.
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.