March 25, 2014
No. 21 HOUSTON
HOUSTON - With the Silver Glove Series up for grabs Tuesday evening at Cougar Field, No. 15 Houston Baseball came out swinging in the first inning, plating six runs, played errorless baseball, and rode the arm of reliever Tyler Ford to earn an impressive 6-2 win over No. 10 Rice - bringing the Silver Glove home to the University of Houston for the first time since 2000.
The Top-15 matchup between Houston and Rice was one for the ages as the two teams played in front of a crowd of 2,481 as the Cougars improved to 20-4 on the year, winning its ninth game out of the last 10 and also improved to 16-1 at Cougar Field. The 16-1 mark still remains the best home start since the 1989 team opened at 32-1.
With the loss, Rice fell to 19-7 and 0-2 vs. Houston this season.
The 2014 Silver Glove Series began back on Feb. 19 at Reckling Park with the Cougars shutting out then-No. 11 Rice, 3-0. Looking for the first series win in 14 years, Houston secured that following tonight's victory. The series win was just the second for Houston (2000, 2014) since the Silver Glove has been incorporated into this rivalry back in 1998.
The win was the second win over a Top 10 program this season after earning a 4-3 win on the road at No. 9 UCLA back on March 8 and the fourth win over a ranked opponent after beating then No. 11 Rice, No. 9 UCLA, No. 26 Texas Tech, and now No. 10 Rice.
Out of the pen, Ford (4.2,2,0,0,0,2) notched his second win over the Owls this season - both coming in relief. The left-hander improved to 3-0 with the victory after tossing 4.2 shutout innings, allowing just two hits and no walks with two strikeouts.
He was electric, retiring his first 10 hitters after taking over for starter David Longville (4.1,6,2,2,1,4). Longville allowed two runs on six hits and one walk with four strikeouts in his 4.1 innings.
After allowing two runs on five hits in the first inning, Longville settled down to retire his next 10 batters before allowing a leadoff walk in the fifth. He then handed the ball over to Ford - who held Rice without a score the rest of the way.
Houston tallied seven hits, led by a two-hit effort by sophomore Kyle Survance (2x4, R). Sophomore Josh Vidales (1x4, R, 2 RBI) and freshman Jordan Stading (1x3, R, 2 RBI) each drove in a game-high two RBI on singles, while sophomore Justin Montemayor (0x4, R, RBI) notched the other lone RBI on a fielder's choice.
Rice took a 2-0 lead in the first on five hits, but it was the Houston offense that responded immediately in the latter half of the frame. The Cougars used five hits to score six runs - all singles. The game got started when Survance singled into left center, which was followed by a walk by Ratcliff. With two outs and runners at the corners, Montemayor beat out a double-play ball to plate Survance for the Cougars' first run. The inning continued when Pyeatt walked - allowing Vidales and Stading to drive in four consecutive runs on two-out singles. Fulmer then capped it off with an RBI-single to put Houston up 6-2 after one inning.
It was the pitching by both teams following the first inning that highlighted the latter half of the game as the Cougar duo in Longville and Ford combined for 9.0 innings, allowing just eight hits, two runs with six strikeouts.
Rice starter Caleb Smith (0.2,1,4,4,3,0) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on one hit in 0.2 innings to fall to 1-1 on the year.
On the game, and winning the Silver Glove
"Well that was a great game tonight. We gave up two in the first, and we were able to come back with not just two, but six. This team has a lot of heart. This meant a lot to them tonight, and you can downplay all you want but it's a big deal. It's hung over our head for a while. I'm really happy for our kids, and our fans. Fans have wanted this for a long time, and I'm proud of this group that they get to bring this trophy back here for the first time in a long time."
On this being a signature win
"It is a signature win, but the main thing about this win is it helps our resume. As far as building the resume for the NCAA tournament this is a huge win for our RPI. They were top five in any RPI poll you look at, so it's a big win for us anyway you slice."
On bringing home the Silver Glove
"It feels good for sure. Beating a team like that says a lot about your own ball club. They are a good team for sure, they hit us in the mouth pretty good in the first inning, but we came right back. We just played fundamental defense trying to help out our pitching, which was great tonight. It feels good to be able to bring home the Silver Glove. "
On his performance tonight
"When I came in the 5th there were a couple runners on base with one out. I knew I had to throw strikes and do my part to help the team by getting batters out. Happy for the program being able to win this series."
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Houston will embark on its first American Athletic Conference series this weekend when it welcomes Memphis to Cougar Field. The three-game set will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, continue on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and wrap up at 1 p.m. Sunday.
By visiting UHCougars.com, clicking the Tickets link, and then Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page or by clicking here, fans can begin purchasing tickets for single games at Cougar Field this season.
COUGAR SPRING FLING vs. LOUISVILLE TICKETS
Tickets for the Cougar Spring Fling, good for general admission to both events, are just $5 prior to April 11 and $10 on April 11. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THE COUGAR SPRING FLING.
Tickets can be purchased in advance through UHCougars.com or by calling the Houston Athletics Ticket Office at 713-462-6647. Tickets on the day of the event can be purchased at the Houston Athletics Ticket Office, located in the Athletics/Alumni Center at 3100 Cullen Blvd., or at the event's entrances beginning at 5 p.m.
All Houston Baseball season ticket holders and single game reserved seat ticket holders ($12-15) will be admitted into Cougar Spring Fling with their previously purchased tickets. All seating at the Houston Football Spring Game will be general admission.
Cash parking for the Spring Fling will be available in the Houston Football Stadium parking garage and in lot 16C located across from Cougar Field on Cullen Blvd.
FAMILY PLAN TICKET PACKAGE
Families can purchase the Family Plan for just $399, which includes two adult and two youth General Admission tickets to each of the 33 home games.
General Admission seats include 33 "Anytime Tickets". You may use one ticket to each home game, 33 tickets to one game, or any combination in between.
General Admission season tickets start for as low as $150 (33 home games/$4.50 per ticket), while Reserved season tickets start at only $200 (33 home games/$6.00 per ticket).
To purchase, visit the Tickets tab, Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page under Season Tickets or by clicking here.
For questions or concerns, call or visit the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275).
KIDS (8th grade & younger) with CAMP T-SHIRT GET IN FREE
Kids who show up to Cougar Field in a UH Baseball Camp T-Shirt and are in the eighth grade or younger will receive FREE ADMISSION to any Houston Baseball home game.