Austin Pruitt tosses complete game to improve to 4-1
March 16, 2013
HOUSTON -- Senior Austin Pruitt tossed his third career complete game and second this season to lift Houston Baseball to a 3-2 victory and a regular-season sweep over Baylor on Saturday evening at Cougar Field.
Win: Austin Pruitt (4-1)
Loss: Max Garner (1-3)
|Josh Vidales||4||0||2||1||0||1||Michael Pyeatt||2||0||2||0||1||0||Kyle Kirk||4||1||2||0||1||0||Jacob Campbell||3||1||2||0||1||1|
NUMBERS OF NOTE
2 With tonight's win against the Bears, senior Austin Pruitt recorded his second complete-game victory of the season. The first of his season came against Texas State on Feb. 23. 7 The 0 walks allowed by Austin Pruitt marks the seventh time this season that the Cougars have allowed one or fewer walks in a game. 8Eight of the 12 Cougar hits came with two outs in the inning.
12With his 2x4 game tonight makes 12 straight games that freshman second baseman Josh Vidales has reached base safely.
13 Junior catcher Caleb Barker reached base safely for the 13th consecutive game when he was hit by a pitch by Ryan Smith in the eighth inning.
With the win, Houston improved to 15-4 and 9-2 at home, while Baylor fell to 9-11 and 0-3 against the Cougars this season.
Houston was able to score first and hang on for the victory, while riding the impressive arm of Pruitt (9.0,6,2,1,0,6) as he tossed a 9.0-inning, six-strikeout gem, while allowing just one earned run on six scattered hits with no walks to improve to 4-1 this season.
Pruitt was in control the entire evening, holding the Bears hitless for the first three innings before surrendering a two-out single in the fourth.
Houston continued its hot-hitting, pounding out 10 or more hits for the sixth time in the last eight games with 12 base knocks tonight - including eight coming with two outs.
Five Cougars notched a multi-hit game, led by freshman Justin Montemayor's (3x5, R) three hits, while fellow freshmen Josh Vidales (2x4, RBI), Kyle Kirk (2x4, R), Jacob Campbell (2x3, R) and sophomore Michael Pyeatt (2x2) each had two hits.
Junior Frankie Ratcliff (1x3, 2 RBI, BB) drove in two of Houston's three runs on a bases loaded walk and a two-out single to right field.
Houston struck for a run in the first following on two hits and a bases loaded walk by Ratcliff. That score stood for the next two innings until the Cougars went up 2-0 in the third following a two-strike, two-out single off Ratcliff's bat, scoring Montemayor, who reached on a two-out single to get things rolling for the Cougars. The inning was kept alive for Ratcliff after Pyeatt singled for yet another two-out single by Houston.
Baylor answered in the top of the sixth with two runs with three hits, while taking advantage of a Houston error in the outfield. With the score at a 2-2 stalemate, Houston would quickly respond with its third and final run in the latter half of the frame on a Vidales single, scoring Campbell from second base.
With one out, Campbell singled on the first pitch he saw to right field then stole second. Vidales ripped a hard grounder to the shortstop that worked its way into shallow centerfield, scoring Campbell to take the lead at 3-2.
Pruitt's lights-out effort lasted long enough for Houston to hold on for the victory as the senior tossed 130 pitches for his third career complete game and second this season - last coming in a one-hit shutout win over Texas State.
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Todd Whitting
Thoughts on the game
"It was a gritty performance by the entire ball club tonight. That was a big win for us. It was a close ballgame from start to finish. Austin Pruitt was outstanding. Threw a complete game, and didn't walk anybody. That is a combination that is going to have a lot of success. The best breaking ball he threw all night was in the ninth inning. He was better and better as he went along. We had a couple of defensive lapses and that was probably the poorest defensive game we've played in a long time. We have a saying in our program `so what' and they did a great job of executing that saying."
HOUSTON SHORTSTOP Frankie Ratcliff
On the game tonight
"We didn't play our best tonight. We kept grinding out at bats and we expected to win tonight. That really helped us elevate our level of play, and get the win tonight."
On your performance at the plate tonight
"I've been struggling at the plate lately, but coach and I have been working on some things to fix that. Biggest thing is not trying to do too much. I've just got to trust in my team that they'll pick me up, and we'll get the job done. Tonight, we were able to get the job done against Baylor."
HOUSTON PITCHER Austin Pruitt
On the game tonight
"That was a really exciting game. I'm really glad I got to go back out there in the ninth. Being able to go out there and go for the complete game was really awesome. What really worked for me was being able to keep my fastball low, and get my curveball to work tonight.
On facing Baylor for a second time
"It was the same routine for me. Last time out I wasn't able to get in a groove. Today the pace was a lot faster, and I was able to get in a nice groove on the mound."
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Houston will conclude the weekend games with a 1 p.m. contest vs. New Orleans on Sunday. Following the weekend action, Houston will welcome the University of Texas to Cougar Field at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19 and Harvard on Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m. For ticket information on the Houston-Texas game, CLICK HERE.