March 24, 2006
HOUSTON - University of Houston junior righthander Brad Lincoln struck out eight and held Marshall to only three hits in tossing his first shutout of the 2006 season during a 7-0 win over the Thundering Herd in the first game of a Conference USA series Friday at Cougar Field.
Lincoln improved to 5-1 with the win and recorded his eighth consecutive start with at least seven strikeouts. The Clute, Texas, native allowed only two baserunners to reach second base in the game and faced just two batters over the minimum during the final seven innings.
After playing to a scoreless tie through the first four innings, the Cougars grabbed the lead in the fifth with a single run, added two more runs in the sixth and broke the contest wide open with four runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Junior infielder Dustin Kingsbury went 2-for-4 with a run, and sophomore outfielder Bryan Tully went 2-for-4 with a run and two-run homer to lead the Cougar offense. Junior infielder Josh Stirneman also batted 2-for-3 with a run, triple and two RBIs.
The Cougars (14-12, 1-0 C-USA) continue the series at 7 p.m., Saturday before wrapping it up at 1 p.m., Sunday. Both games can be heard live over the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with former UH letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans also can follow play-by-play action by clicking on the "Live Stats" link on the schedule at www.UHCougars.com.
In addition to the games, fans also will be able to enjoy various promotions during the Marshall series. On Saturday, UH Baseball campers will be honored as part of Camper Reunion Day.
Sophomore righthander Ricky Hargrove will take the hill for the second game of the Marshall series. This season, Hargrove has compiled a 2-2 record with 29 strikeouts and a team-best 1.85 ERA in 39.0 innings of work. In addition, his innings pitched, wins and strikeouts totals and opposing batting average are second among all UH hurlers.
While this will be his fifth start of the 2006 season, it will be only his third weekend start after entering the rotation at UC Irvine on March 11.
Hargrove was the no-luck losing pitcher during the second game of the San Diego series on March 18. The Katy, Texas, native allowed only two runs (one earned) off six hits with four strikeouts in a career-best 8.2 innings of work. However, he was the victim of the Cougars' second shutout of the season on the way to his second loss of the year.
Saturday's game will be Hargrove's first career appearance against the Thundering Herd.
Marshall (8-9, 0-1 C-USA) will counter with junior righthander Jeremy Sloane. This season, Sloane has compiled a 1-2 record with 15 strikeouts and a 4.28 ERA in 27.1 innings pitched.
The Cougars struck for the game's first runs in the fifth inning. After Stirneman reached on a one-out, infield single, Travis Cougot laced a triple to the wall in right center for a 1-0 UH lead.
UH padded its lead one inning later with two more runs. After Flores reached on a two-out walk, Tully blasted a 2-0 offering down the left-field line for a 3-0 Cougar advantage.
The scored stayed that way until the eighth inning when the Cougars sent eight men to the plate and took advantage of three hits and an error to score four runs. Isa Garcia led off the frame with a walk and moved to second base on Kingsbury's single up the middle.
Flores then ripped a single through the left side of the infield to plate Garcia and send Kingsbury to third base. After a groundout, Mark McGonigle reached on an infield error that allowed Kingsbury to score. Stirneman then plated Flores and McGonigle with a triple to the wall in right-center field.