March 14, 2014
No. 30 HOUSTON
HOUSTON - Senior Chase Wellbrock became Houston Baseball's all-time saves record holder as he helped the Cougars to a 6-3 win over Towson on Friday evening to improve to 13-3 on the season and a perfect 9-0 start at Cougar Field.
The 9-0 start continues to be the best home start since an 11-0 start back in 1993. Towson fell to 9-4 on the year with the loss. The two teams will continue their three-game series on Saturday at 2 p.m. NOTE: 2 p.m. start time due to inclement weather Saturday evening.
Senior Chase Wellbrock (2.0,0,0,0,1,4) was lights out as he entered the game with no outs and two runners on in the eighth and despite walking his first hitter, the righty induced two flyouts and fanned a hitter to escape the Towson threat. He then reentered in the ninth and struck out the side to notch his fifth save of the year in just his seventh appearance this season.
His fifth save this year became his 17th career save as the Brenham, Texas native became the Houston all-time saves record holder - previously held by Ryan Wagner back in 2002-03.
Junior Aaron Garza (7.0,6,3,3,0,3) made his fifth straight quality start and improved to 5-0 with his 7.0-inning win over Towson. The right-hander allowed three runs on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
The Cougars used nine hits and six RBI for the win, led by senior Caleb Barker's three RBI on a three-run double in the third. Two Cougars notched a multi-hit game as freshman Jordan Stading (2x4) and junior Michael Pyeatt (2x3, R, RBI) each had two hits. Pyeatt was accompanied by sophomore Kyle Survance (1x4, RBI) and senior Casey Grayson (0x2, R, RBI) with an RBI, while sophomore Justin Montemayor (1x4) and sophomore Ashford Fulmer (1x3, R) each added a hit. Survance's bunt single in the fourth kept his hit streak alive as the right-fielder notched his 10th straight game with a hit.
Houston used a two-hit second inning to take a 1-0 lead on Towson after Stading and Pyeatt connected on back-to-back hits, scoring Barker - who walked - reaching base safely in all 16 games this season.
Towson responded in the top of the third with two runs on three hits to go ahead 2-1 over the Cougars.
The Cougars loaded the bases in the bottom half of the third and took advantage of a huge two-out, bases-clearing double off the left field wall to give Houston the 4-2 lead. The Cougars then used a bases-loaded walk by Grayson for Houston's fifth run of the game in the bottom half of the fourth.
Houston never let up after Towson made it a 5-3 game on a two hits in the sixth as it went on to answer in the latter half of the frame on a RBI-groundout by Survance, scoring Fulmer, who led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a balk.
Holding onto a 6-3 lead heading into the top of the eighth, Garza was relieved by senior Tyler Ford (0.0,1,0,0,0,0) and then handed the ball over the Wellbrock, who worked out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the eighth to preserve Houston's 6-3 lead. Wellbrock came in a slammed the door on the Tigers, striking out the side to end the game.
Towson starter Chris Acker (3.1,7,5,5,6,0) was touched up as he entered the game with a 0.84 ERA and a 2-0 record before tonight as he allowed five runs on seven hits and six walks in 3.1 innings of work for the loss - falling to 2-1 on the year.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
"Gritty effort from the team tonight. (Aaron) Garza pitched well tonight, and (Chase) Wellbrock was huge coming in with the bases loaded with nobody out, and gets out of it. That was a big inning as they were a couple of swings away from tying it up. Offensively, (Caleb) Barker's double with the bases loaded was a big one. The theme with these northern teams is they come ready to play. Most of the damage they did tonight was with two strikes. They are very aggressive at home plate. We'll have to come ready to play tomorrow, because we know they felt like they could have won tonight."
On Chase Wellbrock becoming the Houston all-time saves leader
"That guy especially over the past two years, has been clutch for us. Tonight was kind of the normal deal for him. We hope he can keep that going to the end of the year. He's nails, and I have confidence in him going into the game. He's proven he can shut the door on people."
Senior RHP Chase Wellbrock
On becoming Houston's saves leader
"It's a great feeling to have that honor, but it's even better feeling knowing that we won tonight. As long as we're winning, I don't care what the save column looks like. I've learned to put this team first, and right now we're on a little bit of a roll. (Aaron) Garza threw a great game tonight, my hats off to him for his performance. We're just playing really well as a team right now, and I want us to keep that going."
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Houston and Towson will meet for the second game of the three-game set on Saturday. First pitch has been moved up to 2 p.m. at Cougar Field instead of the originally-scheduled 6:30 p.m. start.
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