March 21, 2003
AMELIA, Ohio - After showing signs of breaking out of its early-season offensive slump, the University of Houston baseball team erupted Friday for 13 runs off 19 hits in a 13-2 win over Cincinnati in the first-game of a Conference USA series at Midland Field in Amelia, Ohio.
UH jumped out to a 6-2 lead after the first three innings and scored at least one run in seven of nine innings. In addition, the Cougars rapped out at least one hit in every inning and put the leadoff hitter on in all but the final frame. It was the third straight game that the Cougars pounded out double-digit hit with all but two UH hitters recording at least one hit in the game.
It also was the biggest win for the Cougars since a 15-3 decision over Memphis on April 13, 2002, and the most hits by a UH team since rapping out 19 at South Florida on May 19, 2000, at the C-USA Tournament.
For the third consecutive game, freshman outfielder Travis Tully recorded three hits, batting 3-for-5 with three runs. Fellow outfielder Gabe Lucas went 3-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs and his team-leading second homer of the season. Stuart Musslewhite went 3-for-4 with a run and RBI, while Thanos Papavasiliou batted 2-for-6 with two runs and two RBIs
The series continues at 10 a.m. (CST) Saturday before wrapping up at 9 a.m. (CST) Sunday. Game times for each day were moved up one hour from their original starting time due to previous field commitments.
Fans can catch the action at KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com with pregame slated to begin at 12:45 p.m. For live stats with batter-by-batter action, fans can visit the Cincinnati web site at www.UCBearcats.com.
While the offense did its thing, junior righthander Brad Sullivan continued to show his dominance on the mound. The Nederland, Texas, native struck out a UH season-best 13 batters, marking his fourth consecutive start with at least 10 strikeouts. With those numbers, he recorded the eighth 10+-strikeout game of his career to move into second in school career history in that category.
After giving up a hit and two-run homer to lead off the game, Sullivan settled down and struck out seven of the next nine batters. With the win, he recorded his third straight victory and evened his season record at 3-3.
UC starter Kyle Markle collected the loss after giving up six runs off five hits in only 2.2 innings and dropped to 0-6.
The Cougars struck for the game's first run in its first at-bat. Travis Tully drew a walk to lead off the game and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice from Gabe Lucas. Hyung Cho then laced a single to center field to put runners on first and third base, and Thanos Papavasiliou smashed a double down the right field line to plate Tully for a 1-0 lead.
Cho scored from third on a Markle wild pitch, and Mat Farrington grounded out, but not before Papavasiliou scored from third base for a 3-0 UH lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Justin Niefer sliced into the Cougar lead with a two-run homer to right field.
The Cougars pushed the lead to four runs with three in the third inning. Tully led off the frame with a sharp single up the middle and again moved to second base on a bunt by Lucas. Papavasiliou then smashed an RBI-single to right center to plate Tully.
After a Matt Farrington walk, Brian Martin laced the first pitch he saw from UC reliever Mike Foley into right center to plate Papavasiliou. Stuart Musslewhite followed with a double to left field to score Farrington and give the Cougars a 6-2 lead.
In the fourth inning, the Cougars struck for a pair of runs. Tully led off with a double down the left field line and scored on Gabe Lucas' RBI-single to right field. Lucas then came around to score after Cho blasted a double off the center field wall.
One inning later, UH added another two more runs. Stuart Musslewhite reached on an infield single and moved to second on a UC throwing error. Nick Bott then plated Musslewhite with a single to left field and eventually scored himself on Greg Buchanan's infield groundout.
In the sixth, the Cougars added another run when Bott's single to left field scored pinch-hitter Sam Mitchell, who led off the inning with a single to left.
After being held scoreless in the seventh, UH added another single run in the eighth. Mitchell led off with a single to center and moved to third base on Cole Bruce' double before scoring on a balk by UC reliever John Swanson.
Lucas capped the Cougar scoring when he blasted a 2-1 offering from UC reliever Jeff Griffin off the top of the left field fence.