March 24, 2007
ORLANDO, Fla. - University of Houston freshman southpaw Wes Musick struck out 10 batters over eight shutout innings to lead the Cougars to a 3-0 win over UCF in the middle game of a Conference USA series Saturday at Jay Bergman Field.
Musick, who struck out 10 batters in eight innings for the second time in his last three starts, collected the win and improved to 4-3 after scattering five hits with a walk. The Lufkin native retired 10 of 11 batters early in the game as the Cougars jumped out to a 3-0 lead but remained strong at the end of the game, putting down eight of the last nine batters that he faced.
Sophomore righthander Chris Wright pitched a perfect ninth inning to collect his team-leading second save of the season.
For the second straight game, the Cougars jumped out to an early lead and held on. UH scored single runs in each of the second, third and fourth innings to win for the fifth straight game and the eighth time in their last nine game against the Golden Knights.
Josh Stirneman went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI to lead the Cougars, which managed only five hits in the game but took advantage of timely hits early in the game. UCF DH Shane Brown went 2-for-4 to pace the Golden Knights, who also rapped out five hits.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 12-12 overall and, more importantly, moved to 2-0 in C-USA play. UCF fell to 14-12 overall and 0-2 in C-USA games.
The series wraps up at noon (CDT) Sunday. Most Cougar Baseball games can be heard live on UHCougars.com with former Cougar letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans can follow live stats by clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the front page of UHCougars.com or on the Schedule and Results page off the Baseball main page.
Freshman righthander John Touchton is scheduled to start the series finale Sunday. This season, the Houston native has compiled a 1-2 record with 13 strikeouts and an 8.16 ERA in 14.1 innings. In his last outing, Touchton allowed a run off two hits with a pair of strikeouts in 1.1 innings at No. 22 San Diego during the series opener on March 16.
In his first collegiate start, he allowed only one run off four hits with three strikeouts in 4.1 innings at Texas-San Antonio on Feb. 27. However, he did not pick up a decision as the Roadrunners rallied late to enjoy a 4-3 win.
Sunday's game will be Touchton's first career appearance against UCF.
UCF is scheduled to counter with junior righthander Jaager Good. This season, Good has compiled a 3-1 record with 25 strikeouts and a team-best 3.09 ERA in 35.0 innings.
The Cougars struck for the game's first run in the second inning. Stirneman led off with a single through the left side, moved to second following Bryan Tully's sacrifice bunt and advanced to third following a balk. Two batters later, Bryan Pounds' RBI-single to left field handed UH a 1-0 lead.
UH pushed its lead to 2-0 in the next inning. Jimmy Cesario reached on a one-out single and moved into scoring position after Dustin Kingsbury walked. Both runners moved up a base following a wild pitch, and Cesario scored from third base following Stirneman's groundout for a 2-0 Cougar advantage.
In the fourth inning, the Cougars grabbed a 3-0 lead, thanks almost single-handedly to Ryan Lormand. After leading off with a walk and stealing second, the Waco native moved to third following a groundout. On a 1-1 count to Cesario, Lormand took off from third base and slid in under the tag of catcher Brandon Romans on a close play at the plate.