March 20, 2013
HOUSTON -- University of Houston Baseball used eight stolen bases and solid relief pitching to run past Harvard, 8-1, on Wednesday evening at Cougar Field to notch its seventh straight victory.
|1||No. 28 Houston
Win: Matt Hernandez (2-1)
Loss: Peter Kaplan (0-3)
|Grant Slaughter||2.1||2||0||0||1||1||Matt Hernandez||4.0||3||0||0||1||7||Ryan Vruggink||2.0||0||0||0||0||3|
|Josh Vidales||5||1||2||1||0||2||Frankie Ratcliff||4||1||1||1||0||2||Kyle Kirk||5||1||1||1||0||0|
NUMBERS OF NOTE
2 Freshman Ashford Fulmer tripled twice - notching that feat for the first time since Dustin Kingsburg recorded two triples in a single game back on March 10, 2007 vs. Princeton. 4With the win over the Longhorns the Cougars improved to 4-0 this season against teams from the Big 12 Conference.
7Houston has now won seven straight games, dating back to a March 10 win over Texas A&M-CC at home.
7Senior Matt Hernandez's seven strikeouts were a career-best for the southpaw, surpassing his previous high of six set back in the 2012 C-USA Championship against Memphis.
8Houston tallied a season-high eight stolen bases in the win.
16 After his base hit in the second, Josh Vidales has now reached base safely in 16 consecutive games.
The Cougars have now won seven straight to improve to 18-4 this season and 12-2 at home with the victory, while the Crimson fell to 1-13.
Houston tallied 10 hits, led by freshman Ashford Fulmer with three base knocks, including two triples, two RBI and one run scored. Sophomore Price Jacobs (2x4, RBI) and freshman Josh Vidales (2x5, R, RBI) each drove in a run with two base hits. With Vidales' RBI-single in the second, the LaPorte, Texas native extended his on-base streak to 16 games.
Junior Frankie Ratcliff (1x4, R, RBI, 2B) and freshman Kyle Kirk (1x5, R, RBI) also plated runs on base hits, while freshman Justin Montemayor (1x5) added to the hit column.
Houston's eight stolen bases was a season-high, surpassing the previous high of three, which came three times, last against New Orleans on March 15. Vidales, freshman Jacob Campbell, Ratcliff and freshman Kyle Survance all recorded two stolen bases for the Cougars.
Senior reliever Matt Hernandez (4.0,3,0,0,1,7) struck out a career-high seven Crimson hitters en route to his second win this season, improving to 2-1. The southpaw didn't allow a run and surrendered just three hits and one walk in his 4.0 innings out of the pen.
Hernandez took over for freshman reliever Grant Slaughter (2.1,2,0,0,1,1), who took over in the first to escape an early Harvard threat - stranding bases loaded with inducing an inning-ending groundout. He worked 2.1 innings in relief of freshman starter Jared West (0.2,2,1,1,2,2) who fanned two.
Sophomore reliever Ryan Vruggink (2.0,0,0,0,0,3) fanned three in his 2.0 innings out of the pen, not allowing a hit to close the door on Harvard.
Harvard grabbed the early lead at 1-0 after Houston surrendered two hits and two walks in the top of the first. The Cougars quickly bounced back with a three-run second to take the lead after Ratcliff reached on a Crimson fielding error.
With two outs in the frame, Survance walked to put runners at first and second. An executed double steal allowed the runners to advance a base, allowing Fulmer and Vidales to drive in one each on a triple and single, respectively.
The Cougars extended their lead to 4-1 by scratching another run across in the bottom of the third on an RBI-double by Ratcliff to plate Campbell, who drew a two-out walk and stole second.
Houston built a 6-1 lead through four innings with two more runs when Vidales and Kirk tallied consecutive singles, while also taking advantage of another Crimson miscue.
The Cougars continued to plate runs with two more in the bottom of the seventh after an RBI-single and RBI-triple by Jacobs and Fulmer, respectively.
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Todd Whitting
Thoughts on the game
"I told the team, we grinded out a win today. We had a big emotional win last night with a huge crowd compared to today with the early start time, a smaller crowd, and a different type of opponent. I didn't think we played great baseball, but we grinded it out, and found a way to win."
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The Cougars will open Conference USA play this weekend when they play host to East Carolina in a three-game series. Houston will begin play at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and conclude at 1 p.m. Sunday.