HOUSTON - A dominating effort led by junior relief pitcher Patrick Weigel and junior second baseman Josh Vidales helped Houston Baseball to a 9-3, series-clinching win over Buffalo on Saturday evening at Cougar Field.
With the errorless baseball win, the Cougars improved to 12-7 on the year and are now riding a four-game win streak heading into the series finale vs. the Bulls on Sunday at 11 a.m.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
1 - Josh Vidales belts first career homerun to put Houston up 1-0 in the first inning.
2 - Tonight marked the second game this season with at least two Houston homeruns (Vidales, Campbell).
2 - Saturday marked the second straight night Houston's pitching had at least 10 strikeouts.
4 - Houston's pitching held Buffalo to just four hits - a season-low by an opponent.
4 - Josh Vidales has had a multi-hit game in the last four games for Houston.
11 - Patrick Weigel struck out a career-high 11 Buffalo hitters.
11 - Josh Vidales has reached base safely in 11 straight plate appearances - first Cougar to accomplish at least 10 in a row since Kevin Roberts had 12 in 2005.
22 - Josh Vidales has reached base in 22 straight games, dating back to 2014.
Junior reliever Patrick Weigel (7.1,1,0,0,1,11) relieved Houston starter Jake Lemoine (1.2,3,3,3,1,1) in the second and cruised, tossing a Houston career-long 7.1 innings of no-run ball, allowing just one hit with a career-high 11 strikeouts for his second win as a Cougar, improving to 2-0 in his sixth appearance.
Offensively, Houston put together its third-straight 10+ hit game with 13 hits on the night. Junior Josh Vidales continued his hot-hitting with his second straight perfect night at the plate, going 4-for-4 and missed hitting for the cycle by a double as he connected on his first career homerun, a triple and two singles, whiel also drawing a walk, scoring four runs and driving in two for the Cougars.
Vidales night of reaching base in all five plate appearances increased his total to 11 straight - as he is the first Cougar since Kevin Roberts back in 2005 to reach in at least 10 straight plate appearances.
Adding to the offensive mix and joining Vidales with a two-hit game was junior Jacob Campbell, who finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI, which included his second homerun of the season. Junior Chris Iriart added two hits in the win, while freshman Corey Julks (1x4, 2 R) scored two runs.
Freshman Zac Taylor (1x3, R, RBI) scored yet another run on the year, bringing his total to 21 on the year, while freshman Connor Wong (1x5, RBI), junior Justin Montemayor (1x4, R, RBI) each plated runs with hits. Junior Kyle Survance (1x5) added a hit.
With Vidales' first inning homerun to put Houston up 1-0 early, the Cougars have now tallied nine homeruns on the year and the La Porte, Texas native has now reached base safely in 22 consecutive games, dating back to the Baton Rouge Regional in 2014.
Ahead 1-0, Buffalo would string together back-to-back hits and use a hit-by-pitch and a walk to plate three runs to lead 3-1.
The Cougars then responded with another run on a two-out RBI-single by Taylor, plating Julks - who drew a walk and would tie the game in the third after Vidales tripled to lead things off, allowing Montemayor to pick up the RBI on an infield single in the 5-6 hole.
The inning continued when Campbell drove an 0-2 pitch over the left field wall for his second homerun of the year, scoring Montemayor to make it a 5-3 game through three innings.
Following a dominant pitching effort by Weigel, where he struck out the side in the upper half of the fourth, Houston loaded the bases in the inning on two walks and a hit-by-pitch and were able to cash in for two runs thanks to a Buffalo, two-out error and an RBI-single by Campbell to extend the Cougars' lead to 7-3.
Vidales made it an 8-3 game with an RBI-single in the fifth, bringing his hits to a homerun, triple and single in the game. The hot-hitting second baseman continued his prowess at the plate, reaching base for his 11th straight plate appearance in the seventh with a leadoff single. He later scored on an RBI-single by Wong - make it a six-run game.
Weigel finished the game, retiring 13 of the last 14 hitters he faced.
The Houston pitching staff held Buffalo to just four hits - a season-low by an opponent this season.
Buffalo starter Anthony Magovney (3.1,6,7,5,3,4) suffered the loss, allowing seven runs on six hits and three walks to fall to 1-3 on the year.
HEAD COACH Todd Whitting
"We played well tonight. Patrick Weigel was outstanding coming out of the bullpen. He was extremely dominant and very competitive. We had great at-bats the entire game, we gave up the three-spot in the second inning, but we battled back. The thing I was proud of was that the team punched back and didn't lay down and feel sorry for ourselves; we just kept playing."
On Weigel pitching in long relief
"It feels good, it's nice to have that guy on our team. He is a really good player and he had outstanding stuff tonight."
On scoring runs in every inning
"That has kind of been our theme lately is to try to win every inning. We have done a great job of piecing together innings and outscoring our opponents in individual innings."
JUNIOR RHP Patrick Weigel
On coming out in long relief
"My job coming out of the `pen is to fill up the strike zone, get ground balls for my teammates, throw up zeroes; that's how you win ball games."
"You take every inning as an individual inning. Coming in my job was to get that one out and get in that dugout and reset. Then my job is to get three more outs, come in and then reset. You never think about how long you are going to go."
JUNIOR SECOND BASEMAN Josh Vidales
ON HIS APPROACH AT THE PLATE
"I come out here and take every at-bat like it is my last. I just grind away at-bats and try and get as many as I can."
ON THE OFFENSIVE EFFORT TONIGHT
"All 13 hits on the board weren't mine. Hits are contagious, once one guy keeps getting them then the next guy will keep getting them and that is how you win games."
Houston and Buffalo will wrap up its three-game series with an early start on Sunday with first pitch slated for 11 a.m. at Cougar Field.
Best dressed (country-themed) = wins prizes all weekend
Sunday, March 15 - Kids Day
Kids have the chance to take part in Anthem Buddies, Run the Bases and postgame autographs.
With 31 home games set for 2015 at Cougar Field and a nationally-ranked program representing the University of Houston, the Cougars are proud to announce that single-game tickets are now on sale at UHCougars.com/Basetickets.
Along with the online option, fans can purchase tickets by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office at TDECU Stadium Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or can call 713-GO-COOGS.
Houston Baseball will offer variable pricing on its single-game tickets and group rates.
For the first time ever, the pricing breakdown will be determined whether or not you purchase your single-game tickets online vs. at the gate the day of the game as well as whether the Cougars play on a weekday (Monday-Thursday) or weekend (Friday-Sunday).
Weekday: Monday-Thursday; Weekend: Friday-Sunday.
As noted in the table, variable pricing occurs. For weekday (Tuesday nights) online purchases, fans can take in a game, ranging from $5-$7 depending on the choice of seating. If you choose to purchase the day of the game as a Weekday Walk-Up, you will pay roughly $2 more than the online price ($7-$9).
Weekend (Friday-Sunday) online pricing will range from $6-$8 per game, while Weekend Walk-Up pricing the day of the game will run a fan anywhere from $8-$10.
Group rates are also available (as noted in the table). Weekday (Tuesday) and Weekend (Friday-Sunday) pricing occurs. Groups of 10-24 are set at $4-$5 per person, while groups of 25+ are $3-$4 per person.
With single-game tickets available now, Houston Baseball still encourages supporters to become Season Ticket members and enjoy the attractive pricing and rewards that come with up-front purchasing for the entire 2015 season.
WHY ARE SEASON TICKETS MORE ATTRACTIVE?
Season Tickets are as low as $99 for general admission seating and the program offers an Anytime Tickets package that allows fans to use the 31 tickets how they choose (1 per game, multiple per game or all in one game). The Anytime Tickets are only available in general admission seating.
For just $200, you can enjoy reserved chairback seating on the lower level of the concourse at the stadium.
A new additional "Reserved 2" seating option for the 2015 season is also available with an assigned seat in sections 200, 201 and 202 for $150.
If you breakdown the season ticket pricing of $99 General Admission, the pricing of $150 for Reserved 2 or even the pricing of $200 for Reserved 1 (chairback), you are spending less money per game than purchasing single-game tickets.
HOW TO PURCHASE
To purchase tickets in advance, fans must 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. or you can call 713-GO-COOGS.
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.
Stay up to date with all Houston Baseball news and highlights by following us on Twitter @UHCougarBB or on Facebook at /HoustonCougarBaseball. Fans can also follow head coach Todd Whitting @toddwhitting on Twitter.