IRVINE, Calif. -- Late-inning runs and a gutsy pitching performance led No. 20 Houston Baseball to an exciting 4-3 road win at No. 27 UC Irvine on Friday to open the weekend series.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 16-5 on the year and are winners of eight straight games, while UC Irvine fell to 11-7 with the loss.
- Connor Wong has reached base in 20 of Houston's 21 games.
- Jared Triolo notched his first career four-hit game and fourth two-RBI game.
- Jake Scheiner has reached base in 11 straight games.
- Joey Pulido earned his first win as a Cougar in relief.
- Cougars are now 4-2 on the road this season.
Freshman Jared Triolo led all players at the plate with a four-hit game, going 4-for-5 with two doubles, a run and two RBI. Triolo was followed by Corey Julks with two base hits and Lael Lockhart Jr. with a double, run and RBI. Joe Davis sparked the ninth inning rally with a leadoff single and also scored Houston's first run of the game in the third.
Junior reliever Joey Pulido took over in the sixth inning and was able to induce a huge double play to keep UC Irvine off the board. He went on to toss 3.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits with two strikeouts for his first win as a Cougar -- moving to 1-1 in 2017.
Pulido reliever starter Seth Romero, who went 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with seven walks and five strikeouts.
2nd | UC Irvine jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second on a leadoff home run.
3rd | Houston responded the next inning with a two-out rally, started by a Davis walk. Jake Scheiner followed with a single, allowing Triolo to double in Davis with a two-base RBI-hit into right center to tie the game at 1-1.
4th | The Anteaters took advantage of two walks and used two sacrifice bunts to go back up on Houston by a run, 2-1 in the fourth.
7th | Houston took its first lead of the night with two runs in the seventh, going ahead of the Anteaters, 3-2. The inning was sparked by a two-out double by Triolo -- who would then score on a Lockhart double right after. Julks hustled to force an infield error to place Cougars at the corners, allowing Lockhart to then score on a passed ball for the one-run advantage late.
Catcher Connor Wong behind the plate changed the momentum of the game when he faked a throw to second on an attempted double steal and forced the runner at third into a caught stealing at the plate to end the inning and keep UC Irvine off the board following two hits in the frame.
8th | UC Irvine used two hit-by-pitches and a two-out RBI-single to tie the game back up at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth.
9th | Davis led off the ninth with a leadoff single. Pinch runner Landon Etzel moved up two bases on two wild pitches and then scored on a one-out RBI-single by Triolo -- his fourth hit of the night.
Pulido would work around a two-out single in the ninth to keep UC Irvine off the board for his first win as a Cougar.
UC IRVINE NOTES
UC Irvine, ranked as high as No. 27 in the nation, fell to 11-7 on the year with Friday's loss. The Anteaters took an early lead, but wasn't able to hang on. One of the best closers in the country, Calvin Fauchcer, suffered the loss in relief, allowing one run on two hits in 1.0 inning of work. UC Irvine was held to nine hits, led by Alex Guenette's two RBI and one base knock.
The Cougars and Anteaters will continue their three-game series with Game 2 at 4 p.m. CT Saturday and wrap at 2 p.m. CT Sunday.
Fans can follow along via live audio or GT at UHCougars.com/gameday.
SINGLE GAME TICKETS
Single game tickets are on sale at uhcougars.com/tickets. Fans can enjoy a few single game tickets options for the 29 homes games at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park during the 2017 season.
SUNDAY FAMILY PACK
An attractive Sunday Family Pack is available, allowing fans to purchase a Family Pack for Four for just $30 to any Sunday game at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park in 2017.
The Family Pack features four general admission tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and four popcorns to any Sunday home game for $30.
In order to purchase this deal, the purchaser must CLICK HERE use the promo code: FAMILYPACK.
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