March 9, 2007
HOUSTON - University of Houston freshman southpaw Wes Musick struck out a career-best 10 batters while holding Princeton to only one hit over seven innings to lead the Cougars to a 5-0 win Friday in the opener of a non-conference series at Cougar Field.
Musick, who improved to 3-3 with the win, struck out at least one batter in five of the career-best seven innings he worked, including at least two strikeouts in the first, second, fifth and sixth frames. The Lufkin native became the first Cougar southpaw to record 10 strikeouts in a game since Danny Zell posted 11 Ks against Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 28, 2003.
Sal Iacono laced a two-out single into right center in the third inning, but that would be the only hit the Tigers would record against Musick.
Junior righthander Bryan Tully threw the final two shutout innings, allowing only a leadoff double to Jack Murphy in the ninth inning to blemish his pitching line.
The Cougars enjoyed their first shutout of the 2007 season and their first since a 6-0 win over then-No. 11 Tulane in the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament on May 27, 2006.
Freshman centerfielder Zak Presley went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI, while senior first baseman Josh Stirneman went 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Cougar offense, which rapped out seven hits in the win.
Princeton starter Steven Miller collected the loss and fell to 0-1 after allowing three runs off four hits with a strikeout in four innings.
The Cougars continue the series at 7 p.m., Saturday before wrapping it up at 1 p.m., Sunday at Cougar Field. Cougar Baseball games can be heard live on UHCougars.com with former Cougar letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans can follow live stats by clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the front page of UHCougars.com or on the Schedule and Results page off the Baseball main page.
Sophomore righthander Luis Flores makes his second straight Friday night start when he toes the rubber against Princeton during the series opener. This season, he has posted a 1-0 record with eight strikeouts and a 5.91 ERA in 10.2 innings.
A year ago, Flores was named to several Freshman All-America First Teams, seeing time in the outfield, first base, catcher, DH and pitcher.
In his last start, Flores held Northwestern State to only two runs off five hits with six strikeouts in five innings during the series opener on March 2. It was his first start of the 2007 season. The Del Rio native collected the Cougars' only win of the series against the Demons.
Friday's game will be Flores' first career appearance against Princeton.
In addition to his pitching duties, Flores is a regular in the Cougar lineup. While he most often competes behind the plate as the Cougar catcher, he also has seen playing time in 2007 in left field, right field and first base.
This season, Flores has posted a .235 batting average with a team-best four home runs and nine RBIs. He also ranks among the C-USA individual leaders with his home run total.
Princeton will counter with junior righthander Christian Staehely. This season, he has posted an 0-1 record with three strikeouts and a 15.43 ERA in 2.1 innings of work.
The Cougars struck for the game's first run in the second inning. Stirneman led off with a single through the right side and moved into scoring position following a wild pitch. After back-to-back walks to Bryan Pounds and Luis Flores loaded the bases, Presley laced a sacrifice fly to the wall in left field to plate Stirneman and hold the Cougars a 1-0 advantage.
The score remained that way until the sixth inning when Luis Flores blasted an 0-1 offering over the left-field wall.
In the seventh inning, Fanaselle led off with a walk and moved into scoring position following Cesario's sacrifice bunt. Stirneman then lined a two-out, RBI-single through the right side for a 5-0 UH lead.