March 26, 2002
HOUSTON, Texas - Good things seem to be coming in threes for the fifth-ranked University of Houston baseball team as the Cougars scored 11 runs for the third straight game in an 11-3 win over Fresno State on Tuesday at Cougar Field.
Anthony Scalise and Stuart Musslewhite each went 3-for-5 with two runs, with Musslewhite leading all players with three RBIs and coming only a home run short of hitting for the cycle. Jesse Crain, Brett Cooley and Gabe Lucas also added two hits apiece for the Cougars who pounded out 16 hits in the game.
With seven UH pitchers throwing in a set rotation, starter Danny Zell earned the win after allowing two hits with three strikeouts in the first two innings. The Houston native earned his first collegiate win and improved to 1-0. Fresno State starter Mike Hernandez dropped to 1-2 after giving up six hits and six runs in only 1.1 innings.
UH relievers Austin Faught, Ryan Wagner, Taylor Gartz, Brian Henderson, Bryan Harris and Jesse Crain each contributed in the Cougars' third shutout of the year and second in their last four games. The Cougars also snapped Fresno State's 11-game winning streak and dropped the Bulldogs to 17-13 this season.
The Cougars (19-7) will bring their four-game winning streak into Conference USA play this weekend when they travel to Hattiesburg, Miss., to meet No. 34 Southern Mississippi in a three-game series. That series, which features two teams at 5-1 in league play, starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday and continues at 2 p.m. Saturday before wrapping up with a 1 p.m. game Sunday.
The Cougars struck for five runs in their first at-bat and never looked back. Hyung Cho started the scoring with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Michael Bourn, and Scalise gave UH a 2-0 lead on Hernandez's first balk of the inning. Stuart Musslewhite later ripped a two-run triple down the left field and eventually scored on Cooley's RBI-infield groundout to cap the scoring.
In the second inning, Lucas led off with a single through the left side and moved into scoring position on Hernandez's third and final balk of the game. Scalise then laced a single to right field, scoring Lucas from second base and giving the Cougars a 6-0 lead.
Chris Snyder added to the Cougar lead in the third inning when he led off the frame with a monster home run to left center, his fourth of the season.
After a scoreless fourth inning, the Cougars nearly hit for the cycle as a team on the way to three runs. Jesse Crain led off with a single to left field and scored on Musslewhite's down to left field. Cooley lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Snyder and Gabe Lucas launched a triple in the right center gap to score Musslewhite.
Pinch-hitter Daron Bertillion added another run for the Cougars in the eighth inning with an RBI-single to cap the UH scoring.