March 15, 2014
No. 30 HOUSTON
HOUSTON - Houston Baseball broke out the bats on Saturday afternoon, pounding out a season-high 19 hits and scoring 20 runs en route to a 20-3 win over Towson at Cougar Field despite running into several rain delays over the course of the day.
With the win, Houston improved to 14-3 on the season and is now 10-0 at Cougar Field and has won its fourth weekend series of the 2014 season. The 10-0 start remains the best home start since an 11-0 start back in 1993.
Seven Cougars notched a multi-hit game and six recorded a multi-RBI game. Leading the way with four RBI was senior Caleb Barker (2x3, 2 R,4 RBI), who notched two hits, including his second career grand slam. Sophomore Ashford Fulmer (4x6, 2 R, 2 RBI) drove in two on a career-high four-hit night, while sophomore Kyle Survance 3x5, 2 R, 3 RBI) drove in three on three hits.
Adding to the 20-hit effort was senior Frankie Ratcliff (2x4, 2 R, RBI), senior Casey Grayson (2x2, 3 R, 2 RBI), freshman Jordan Stading (2x5, R, 2 RBI) and junior Michael Pyeatt (2x5, 2 R) with two hits each, while senior Jacob Lueneburg (1x1, R) and sophomore Justin Montemayor (1x3, R) each had a base knock.
Houston drew a season-high 11 walks as sophomore Josh Vidales was put on base three times, followed by Grayson with two.
Sophomore starter Jake Lemoine (5.0,1,0,0,2,4) worked through two rain delays and pitched a gem, allowing just one hit in his 5.0 innings of work, walking two and fanning four for his third win of the year - improving to 3-1 in his five starts this year.
Freshman Kirby Peek (2.1,5,3,3,0,1) made his second relief appearance of his short collegiate career, allowing two runs on five hits in 2.1 innings of work with one strikeout.
Houston jumped out to its best start of the year, scoring five on five hits in the first inning over Towson. The inning was started when Survance and Ratcliff reached on a single and walk, respectively then scored on a two-run triple by Grayson, his first of his career. The inning continued when Vidales drove in a run and reached on a error, which was followed by three straight singles by Barker, Stading and Pyeatt to keep the inning alive.
The Cougars went out and shut Towson down just to return to the batters box to score six more runs and bat around for the second straight inning. Grayson opened the frame with a standup double, while Montemayor and Vidales reached on a single and walk to load the bases. The bases loaded set up a perfect opportunity for Barker to drive his 0-1 pitch over the left field wall for his second career grand slam, giving the Cougars a convincing 9-0 lead with no outs in the second. The scoring barrage continued when Stading singled for the second straight at-bat and later scored on an RBI-double by Fulmer. Ratcliff then followed with an RBI-double
After a one hour and 20 minute rain delay, Houston and Towson resumed play and the Cougars didn't let up as they went on to score three more runs following the delay on an RBI-groundout, two walks, a wild pitch and passed ball. Pyeatt opened the third with a double down the right field line and later scored to make it 15-0 on a Fulmer single and Survance sacrifice fly.
Despite allowing two to reach in the fourth, Lemoine worked around two hit-by-pitches and induced an inning-ending double-play groundout to keep Towson off the board.
Relieved in the sixth by Peek, Lemoine left ahead and was credited the win. Towson put themselves on the board with three runs on four hits in the eighth, but Houston didn't let up and responded with five more runs in the latter half of the frame to score 20. The Cougars used two hits and several free passes to rebound with five runs.
Towson starter Bruce Zimmermann (1.0,7,8,6,3,2) was credited with the loss as he dropped his first game of the year, now 3-1, after allowing six earned runs on seven hits in just 1.0 inning of work.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
"This was a total team effort. You have to first tip you cap to Jake Lemoine as he went out there to stop and restart several times. We were just trying to get him through the fifth with that big of a lead, we wanted to get him the win. Caleb Barker came up big with the grand slam early in the game. That is hard to do. I told my guys I liked the way they played at the end of the game - still playing hard despite being up so much. Towson will show up tomorrow. The team that showed up today is not them. They are more like how they showed on Friday, which is really gritty. We will just have to come out ready to play."
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Houston and Towson will meet for the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Premium games for the Cougars will include the Baylor midweek game (Tues., March 11), the Rice midweek game (Tues., March 25) and the Louisville weekend series (April 11-13). Premium games begin as low as $7 for youth and $10 for adults in general admission seating (Level 200) and as low as $12 for youth and $15 for adults in reserved seating (Level 100).
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General Admission seats include 33 "Anytime Tickets". You may use one ticket to each home game, 33 tickets to one game, or any combination in between.
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