March 13, 2010
San Luis Obispo, Calif. - The University of Houston baseball team put up seven runs in the fourth inning on their way to a 13-8 win over Cal Poly Friday night at Baggett Stadium.
Those seven runs in the fourth were highlighted by back-to-back home runs off M.P. Cokinos and Chris Wallace that plated four runs. With one out in the fourth and the score tied, 2-2, Austin Gracey doubled down the right field line, while Codey Morehouse followed that up with a single to left field. After Jake Runte struck out, the Cougars would go on a two out rally which began with a single to left field by Blake Kelso that plated Gracey. Morehouse would then score on the next pitch, a balk by Mustang pitcher Matt Leonard. Joel Ansley then put two runners on base with a single and Matt Creel would reach on an error that would score Kelso.
With two runners on base and two outs, Cokinos hit his second home run of the season, a long ball over the left field fence to extend the Cougars lead to 8-2. Then on back-to-back pitches Chris Wallace hit his first home run of the season to cap the seven run inning for the Cougars and push their lead to 9-2.
Despite posting seven runs in the fourth, the Mustangs were the ones who got on the board first scoring two runs in their opening at bat but Houston answered in the top of the second. Cokinos led off with a single through the left side, advanced to second on a wild pitch and would go on to score on Austin Gracey's RBI single through the left side.
The Cougars would then tie the ball game at 2-2 when Cokinos' sacrifice fly in the third scored Ansley, who reach on a single to right field.
After Houston broke open the game, Cal Poly was able to score a run in the bottom of the fourth and the two teams traded runs in the fifth.
After a scoreless sixth inning, UH added to its run total with three runs in the seventh inning. Morehouse led off the effort with a single through the left side and advanced to second on a balk. He would cross home on Runte's triple. In an effort to throw Runte out at third, Mustang second baseman Matt Jensen overthrew third and as the ball sailed into the third base dugout, Runte would give Houston its second run. After Kelso reached base on a walk, he would give the Cougars their final run total of the night after scoring on an Ansley double down the right field line.
Despite trailing 13-4 going into the bottom of the ninth, Cal Poly wasn't going to make things easy for the Cougars. They would score four runs, including a three-run home run from Luke Yoder to cut the lead to four before coming up short in their comeback efforts.
William Kankel earned the start for the opening game of the series, going four innings. He gave up four runs but struck out five batters, one short of tying his career-high. Mo Wiley turned in 4.2 innings of relief, surrendering four runs while striking out a career-high 10 batters. James Conlee pitched the final 0.1 inning on the mound.
With the win, Houston evened the all-time series against Cal Poly 2-2 and improves to 6-5 on the year.
Houston will continue the series against Cal Poly on Saturday at 8 p.m. and it will conclude on Sunday at 3 p.m.