March 12, 2002
HOUSTON, Texas - Hitless through the game's first 5.2 innings and trailing 6-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning, the University of Houston baseball team rallied for seven runs in their final two at-bats to take a 7-6 win over McNeese State on Tuesday at Cougar Field.
After scoring four runs in the eighth inning on Chris Snyder's two-RBI double and RBI singles from Anthony Scalise and Thanos Papavasiliou, the Cougars struck for three more runs in the bottom of the ninth with Scalise's soft single to right field scoring the final two runners.
With the win, the Cougars, ranked No. 8 in the latest Baseball America poll, extended their winning streak to eight games and have now won 10 of their last 11 contests.
UH reliever Brian Henderson collected his first win of the season to improve to 1-0 after tossing 2.0 innings of two-hit relief. MSU reliever Jared Gothreaux gave up five hits and four runs in only 1.0 inning to collect the loss and fall to 2-2.
Snyder, Scalise and Papavasiliou each led the late-starting UH offensive attack with two hits. Ran Prince, P.J. Johnston and Derek Hebert led McNeese State with two hits apiece.
Things didn't look promising for the Cougars early in the game. MSU starter Seth LaStrapes kept the Cougar offense in check, not allowing a hit through the first 5.2 innings and giving up only two hits with four strikeouts in 7.0 innings.
But the UH bats started to come alive against the MSU bullpen. The Cougars touched reliever Lavelle Morgan for two hits and three runs in 0.1 innings before Gothreaux entered the game.
In the bottom of the ninth, Jesse Crain reached on a fielder's choice and moved to second on a MSU throwing error in the infield to start the rally. Hyung Cho plated Crain with a single down the left field line to pull UH to within one at 6-5 and extend his hitting streak to 10 games.
After back-to-back walks to Snyder and Stuart Musslewhite, Scalise lifted a looping single over the head of diving MSU second baseman Dustin Smith to score Cho and Snyder and give the Cougars the win.
The Cougars begin the most important of their schedule this weekend as they begin Conference USA play at UAB. That series starts with a 7 p.m. game, continues with a 2 p.m. contest Saturday and concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday.