March 16, 2014
No. 30 HOUSTON
HOUSTON - Houston Baseball never let up as it saw a 6-1 deficit disappear when it rallied late to win 7-6 over Towson on Sunday to sweep the weekend series and improve to 15-3 on the year and remain perfect at Cougar Field.
The Cougars enter next week with an 11-0 mark at home, tying the best home start since an 11-0 mark set back in 1993.
It was a Michael Pyeatt grand slam in the sixth inning that put Houston back in contention after the Cougars fell down 6-1 through five complete. The left fielder took the first pitch he saw and drove it over the right field wall, clearing the bases for his first career homerun to make it a 6-5 game.
Once that hit, Houston reliever Tyler Ford (4.0,2,0,0,0,4) was dominant out of the pen, keeping Towson off the scoreboard for the remaining four innings, giving the Cougars a chance late in the game for the walk-off. Ford earned the win, improving to 2-0 with his 4.0-inning, two-hit bid, accompanied by four strikeouts.
The Cougars made it interesting in the eighth and down by one run when senior Caleb Barker took his pitch into right center for a standup double, followed by a walk from freshman Jordan Stading and a sacrifice punt by Pyeatt, but Towson closer was able to slam the door and keep Houston off the scoreboard and down by one heading into the ninth.
Houston proved its fight in the ninth inning when senior Frankie Ratcliff led off with a single through the right side. Down by one, senior Casey Grayson walked, but was then caught stealing at second - moving Ratcliff to third. Sophomore Justin Montemayor followed with a walk to put runners at the corners with one out for sophomore Josh Vidales, who doubled down the right field line to tie the game, scoring Ratcliff.
An intentional walk followed for senior Caleb Barker, which set up a bases-loaded situation for Stading, who saw one pitch and drove it through the right side for the game-winner.
On the day, Houston tallied 10 hits, led by Pyeatt (1x2, R, 4 RBI, SAC) who drove in four on his grand slam. The grand slam was the second of the weekend as Barker belted one on Saturday in the 20-3 win over the Tigers.
Following in the hit column was Ratcliff (2x5, R) with two base knocks and the game-tying run, while Stading (1x3, R, RBI) added a hit and the game-winning RBI, while Vidales (1x5, RBI) notched the game-tying RBI on his double. Adding a hit was sophomore Kyle Survance (1x5), who continued his hit streak at now 12 straight games, while Barker (1x3, R, 2 BB) reached base for now the 18th straight game. Grayson (1x3, R, 2 BB) and sophomores Ashford Fulmer (1x4) and Montemayor (1x4, R) provided Houston with three hits combined - giving every Cougar starter a hit today.
Towson took advantage of four early walks and a three-run homerun to put itself up 3-0 after two complete innings. Starter Jared West (1.1,2,3,4,1) was relieved by junior Jared Robinson (3.2,4,3,3,0,4), who came in and escaped worked out of the one-out jam induced by the Tigers in the second and then followed with a 1-2-3 third and fourth innings.
Despite making solid contact for the first 3.0 innings, Houston had only one hit to show for it, a two-out single by Fulmer in the latter half of the third.
Towson used a three-hit fifth inning and its second three-run homerun of the game to go ahead 6-1 after the Cougars plated a run when Grayson doubled and scored following an error by the Tigers.
The Tigers' starter Lee Lawler (5.2,4,3,2,2,3) was credited with the no decision as closer Brandon Gonnella (1.1,4,2,2,4,2) walked four and allowed four hits and two runs in 1.1 innings out of the pen for the loss to fall to 1-1 on the year.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
"Great weekend, It's good anytime you can sweep a good team like Towson. The game got out of hand for them yesterday, but I told the team what we saw yesterday is not that team. What we saw Friday, and today is what they're about. They play extremely hard, and they don't give in. They are as good a team hitting with two strikes as I've ever seen."
"I'm proud of the team today, (Michael) Pyeatt with the huge grand slam, and (Josh) Vidales with a tremendous at bat in the 9th inning. (Jordan) Stading, the freshman, was clutch getting the game winner. I tell the team all the time it's a nine-inning game, you have to play all nine innings, and we have to learn from this. We have to learn to keep grinding away, and to show up everyday."
On his at bats today
"I was trying to do everything I could to move the runners over. With the home run I was able to get the ball up, and it flew out of the park. I'm glad I was able to get the sacrifice bunt, which helped us get into a position to score runs. Overall great win for our team today."
On his hit to tie the game
"We had runners on the corners, and I was trying to elevate the ball, and not roll over into a double play. I missed the safety squeeze earlier in the at bat, but I said so what next pitch. I was just battling trying to find something up in the zone to drive into the outfield, and get Frankie (Ratcliff) to tag. Fortunately I ran into one to right field to tie it up."
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.
Houston will continue its month-long homestand with five games this coming week. The Cougars will welcome Lamar on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., followed by Texas Southern at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday before hosting College of Charleston over the weekend in a three-game series.
By visiting UHCougars.com, clicking the Tickets link, and then Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page or by clicking here, fans can begin purchasing tickets for single games at Cougar Field this season.
FAMILY PLAN TICKET PACKAGE
Families can purchase the Family Plan for just $399, which includes two adult and two youth General Admission tickets to each of the 33 home games.
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.
General Admission season tickets start for as low as $150 (33 home games/$4.50 per ticket), while Reserved season tickets start at only $200 (33 home games/$6.00 per ticket).
To purchase, visit the Tickets tab, Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page under Season Tickets or by clicking here.
For questions or concerns, call or visit the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275).
KIDS (8th grade & younger) with CAMP T-SHIRT GET IN FREE
Kids who show up to Cougar Field in a UH Baseball Camp T-Shirt and are in the eighth grade or younger will receive FREE ADMISSION to any Houston Baseball home game.