TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- No. 20 Houston Baseball used a three-run seventh inning to tie the game late, but would eventually fall in the one-run heartbreaker as No. 23 Alabama belted a solo home run in the eighth inning to win 7-6 in the series finale at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Despite the loss and falling to 8-5 on the year, the Cougars did earn the series victory over the Crimson Tide for their third straight series win this season.
Houston will travel to Beaumont, Texas to take on Lamar at 6 p.m. Tuesday before returning home to begin a nine-game home stand, starting with Texas Southern at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park.
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TOP OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCES
Justin Montemayor -- 1-for-3 / R / RBI / BB
Connor Wong -- 2-for-5 / R / 2 RBI
Jacob Campbell -- 3-for-4 / R / RBI
Joe Davis -- 0-for-3 / RBI / SF
Zac Taylor -- 1-for-2 / RBI
In a game that saw four lead changes and a 6-6 stalemate heading into the eighth inning fell in Alabama's favor following a solo home run in the eighth inning to make it a 7-6 game.
Houston out hit the Crimson Tide for the third straight game, 9-7, but would suffer the loss following four defensive errors, which resulted in three unearned runs against the Cougars.
Leading the way offensively was sophomore Connor Wong -- who finished the day, 2-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI, while senior Jacob Campbell led all hitters with a three-hit game, while scoring a run and driving in an RBI.
Houston didn't waste time as it jumped on Alabama early with a run in the top of the first after Wong led off the game with a leadoff single and moved to second on the next pitch with a steal. After back-to-back strikeouts for Crimson Tide starter Jon Keller, Montemayor found the 5-6 hole for an RBI-single, plating Wong from second for the 1-0 lead.
With the leadoff single for Wong, the Pearland, Texas native has now reached base in all 14 games and is riding an 11-game hit streak.
After junior starter John King held Alabama hitless through the first 2.0 innings, the Crimson Tide used two Houston errors and a single and double to plate three runs to go ahead, 3-1. The lead for Alabama was the first of the series.
Down 3-1, Montemayor would work a leadoff walk in the fourth and advance to third after a fielder's choice ground ball by sophomore Clay Casey and an Alabama throwing error. With runners at second and third with no outs, Campbell laced an RBI-single up the middle, plating Montemayor to make it a 3-2 game in favor of Alabama.
Taylor would beat out a potential double play ball to score Casey from third to tie the game at 3-3.
Alabama got a leadoff double to start the bottom of the sixth, which led to a Houston error and another double -- as the Crimson Tide took a 5-3 lead with one out in the inning. The scoring for Alabama continued with another RBI-single as it extended its lead to three at 6-3.
King (5.1,5,6,3,1,3) was relieved by freshmen Mitch Ullom (0.0,1,0,0,0,0), who allowed one hit before handing the ball over to classmate Trey Cumbie (2.2,1,1,1,1,1), who worked a career-long 2.2 inning-outing.
King finished the day, allowing three earned runs on five hits and one walk with three strikeouts in the 5.1-inning effort for the no-decision.
Houston showed its fight in the top of the seventh with a three-run frame to tie the game back up at 6-6.
The inning began with a leadoff single from Campbell, followed by a pinch-hit walk from freshman Caleb Morris. With two on and one out following a strikeout, junior Jose Reyes reached on an Alabama error to load the bases for Wong -- who drove in a pair, plating Campbell and Morris to bring the Cougars within one.
Senior Michael Pyeatt worked a long at-bat and eventually singled to keep the inning alive. With one out, Davis would fly out to right field, but would score Reyes for the tying run, making it a 6-6 game.
Cumbie was rock solid out of the bullpen for the Cougars, keeping Alabama off balance for much of his late-game appearance, but the Crimson Tide would rely on a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth to go back ahead, 7-6.
Despite a strong relief outing, Cumbie would suffer the loss on the mound for Houston, falling to 0-1 on the year.
Alabama reliever Dylan Duarte (2.0,1,0,0,0,1) earned the win, improving to 2-1.
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
BUY SEASON/ SINGLE-GAME / GROUP TICKETS
Houston Baseball has 23 remaining home games at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park this 2016 season and fans can purchase season tickets for as low as $99 online by visiting UHCougars.com/tickets and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
To purchase tickets in person, fans can 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.
Houston Baseball will offer variable pricing on its single-game tickets and group rates.
As noted in the table above, variable pricing occurs. For weekday (Tuesday/Wednesday) games, prices range from $5-$7 depending on the choice of seating.
Weekend ((Thursday) Friday-Sunday) online pricing will range from $6-$8 per game.
Group rates are also available (as noted in the table). Weekday (Tuesday/Wednesday) and Weekend ((Thursday) Friday-Sunday) pricing occurs. Groups of 10-24 are set at $4-$5 per person, while groups of 25+ are $3-$4 per person.
All UH main campus students are admitted FREE to regular-season baseball home games with a valid student ID.
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