March 10, 2007
HOUSTON - University of Houston senior shortstop Dustin Kingsbury went 3-for-6 with three runs and two RBIs and tied a school single-game record with two triples to help lead the Cougars to a 20-1 win over Princeton on Saturday in the middle game of a non-conference series at Cougar Field.
Kingsbury, who became the first player since Kevin Roberts against Texas A&M on Feb. 13, 2005, to record a pair of three-baggers in a game, was just part of a Cougar offensive bombardment that pounded out 21 hits, including seven for extra bases. All but one starter had at least one hit in a game as the Cougars scored 20 runs for the first time since a 24-7 win at Conference USA rival Southern Miss on April 14, 2006.
Sophomore outfielder Felix Fanaselle went 4-for-5 with a double, run and three RBIs, while senior first baseman Josh Stirneman went 4-for-5 with a double, four runs and two RBIs. Freshman outfielder Zak Presley batted 3-for-3 with two runs, his first collegiate homer and a game- and career-high five RBIs, while sophomore utility player Luis Flores batted 2-for-5 with three runs scored. Junior outfielder Bryan Tully went 2-for-4 with two runs, a homer and three RBIs in the winning effort.
While the Cougar bats were slugging away, the UH hurlers were equally impressive in the win. Junior righthander Aaron Brown set the tone for the entire game, limiting the Tigers to only one run off four hits with six strikeouts in six innings of work. Relievers Jimmy Raviele and Barry Laird combined to hold the Tigers to only three hits with three strikeouts over the final three shutout innings.
Princeton starter Christian Staehley collected the loss and fell to 0-2 after giving up seven runs off six hits with three walks in 3.1 innings.
Sal Iacono went 3-for-3 with an RBI, while Greg Van Horn finished the night 2-for-4 with a run to lead Princeton, which managed only seven hits in the game.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 10-9 overall, while Princeton fell to 1-4.
The Cougars wrap up the series 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.
Flores will make his second weekend start of the 2007 season during the Princeton series finale. This season, the Del Rio native has compiled a 1-0 record with eight strikeouts and a 5.91 ERA in 10.2 innings of work.
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. He collected the Cougars' only win of the series against the Demons.
Sunday'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 as catcher, he also has seen playing time in 2007 in left field, right field, first base and third base. This season, he has posted a .241 batting average with a team-best five home runs and 10 RBIs. He also ranks among the C-USA individual leaders with his home run total.
Senior southpaw Michael Zaret will toe the rubber for the Tigers in the series finale. This season, Zaret has compiled a 1-0 record with a strikeout and a 9.00 ERA in three innings.
The Cougars struck for the game's first runs in the second inning, scoring three runs off four hits. Kingsbury led off with a triple to the wall in left center and scored on Stirneman's infield single. Luis Flores followed with a one-out single, and Austin Goolsby was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Presley then slapped a two-run single up the middle for a 3-0 UH lead.
The Cougars added eight more runs in the fourth inning, thanks to six hits and three walks. Stirneman led off with a double to left center and moved up a base following a passed ball. After walks to Tully and Bryan Pounds loaded the bases, Presley drew a walk to force Stirneman home. Following a pitching change, Ryan Lormand lined a single into left field to plate Tully and Pounds.
Fanaselle and Cesario rapped out back-to-back RBI-singles, scoring Presley and Lormand, respectively, and Kingsbury smashed his second triple of the night into right center to score Cesario. Stirneman's second hit of the inning - this one to center field - scored Kingsbury and gave the Cougars an 11-0 cushion.
In the fifth inning, Fanaselle's double down the right-field line scored Lormand, who reached on a fielder's choice.
Princeton put its first mark on the scoreboard during the series when Iacono's RBI-single into left field scored Van Horn.
However, the Cougars answered in the bottom of the frame with five more runs, thanks to Presley's two-run homer, a sacrifice fly from Tully, an error and wild pitch.
Tully blasted a two-run homer to left field in the seventh inning, and Fanaselle was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to push the Cougars' lead to 20-1.