ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - In a game that saw three lead changes and a combined 25 hits and 24 runners left stranded, No. 21 Houston Baseball was able to earn a 6-5 win over New Mexico in the first game of the three-game weekend series Friday at Lobo Field.
It was the offensive prowess late that sparked the comeback for the Cougars, leading them to their seventh straight win and to an overall record of 15-7 on the year. New Mexico dropped its fourth straight game, falling to 11-8.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
1 - Houston gave New Mexico starter Toller Boadman his first loss of the year, falling to 4-1.
5 - Houston's offense has reached double-digit hits in five of its last six games.
5 - Chris Iriart belted his team-leading fifth homerun of the season, bringing Houston's total to 14.
7 - The seven-game win streak is the longest win streak for the Cougars this season.
16 - Kyle Survance stole his conference-leading 16th stolen base of the year.
25 - Josh Vidales has reached base in 25 straight games, dating back to 2014.
Houston racked up its second straight 10+ hit game, tallying 14 hits for six runs. Of the 14 hits, four landed for extra bases.
Five Cougars tallied a multi-hit game, led by junior Kyle Survance - who was 3-for-5 with two RBI, followed by junior Ashford Fulmer's 2-for-4, one run, two-RBI performance - driving in the go-ahead runs in the seventh.
Junior Chris Iriart went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI on a solo homerun - his fifth of the year, while junior Ian Rice was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and junior Josh Vidales added two hits and extended his on-base streak to 25 straight games.
Sophomore starter Andrew Lantrip (6.1,9,3,3,3,3) earned his fifth win of the year, improving to 5-1 after allowing three runs on nine hits and three walks in 6.1 innings with three strikeouts.
After stranding bases loaded in the first inning, Houston broke open the scoreless game with two runs in the second for a 2-0 lead. Rice opened up the frame with his first hit of the night, which was followed by a bunt single by Fulmer. With two on, Taylor sacrifices the two over and gives way to Survance - who drives in both runners on a single through the right side - for his second hit in as many innings.
Lantrip cruised through the first two innings before New Mexico put up a run in the third on three hits. With bases loaded, Lantrip was able to induce an inning-ending popout to Campbell behind the plate to keep the score 2-1 in Houston's favor.
Houston threatened in just about every inning offensively, tallying multiple hits in the first three frames, but would strand seven through those innings.
New Mexico would take the lead in the fifth with two runs following two doubles and a wild pitch.
Down 3-2 and heading into the seventh, the Cougars used a leadoff double off the wall by Iriart to get things rolling. Campbell would lay down a perfect sacrifice to advance Iriart to third, but the throw by New Mexico's starter Tyler Boardman went high and Iriart scored on the errant throw, moving Campbell to second. Tied at 3-3 with two outs now in the inning, Fulmer made one of the best swings of the year, driving a 1-2 pitch off the wall in right field for a triple, plating two - giving Houston the 5-3 lead.
Iriart would extend the Cougars' late-game lead with a solo shot that bounced off the building in left center, clearing the 405 mark on the outfield wall in the eighth with two outs in the inning to give Houston the three-run advantage heading into the final two frames.
With junior Patrick Weigel (2.0,0,2,2,3,1) in relief of Lantrip late in the seventh - and escaping a jam with an inning-ending double play, he returned in the eighth for a 1-2-3 inning. Back out in the ninth and with one out, New Mexico would work two walks - forcing Houston to bring in senior Aaron Garza (0.2,2,0,0,1,0) who would get the next out, but would allow a walk and two hits, loading the bases for the Lobos and down by one run. Garza would finish New Mexico off with an game-ending groundout - stranding three for his second consecutive save and just his second in his four-year career at Houston.
Boardman (6.2,11,4,2,2,2) would suffer his first loss of the season for New Mexico after giving up 11 two earned runs on 11 hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work.
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Todd Whitting
On the offense
"I thought we played well. We played a really good ball club tonight in New Mexico. We jumped out early with a bunch of hits, but didn't score too many runs. I felt like the team kept battling and we had a lot of runners in scoring position, that we just couldn't get in.
The team never gave in. They were resilient and we were good in clutch situations when we needed it. It was really big to be in the situation we were in in the ninth and to get out of that the way we did. I'm really proud of them and anxious to see how we come out and play tomorrow."
Houston and New Mexico will continue its three-game weekend series on Saturday. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. CT in Albuquerque, N.M. The series will wrap on Sunday with a 2 p.m. CT start.
With 31 home games set for 2015 at Cougar Field and a Top 10 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.
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.