March 27, 2004
HOUSTON - The University of Houston baseball team exploded for six runs through the first three innings and never looked back in taking a 9-2 win over Conference USA rival TCU on Saturday in the middle game of a three-game series at Cougar Field.
UH (9-16, 2-3 C-USA) erupted for four runs in its first at-bat with three courtesy of Rob Johnson's monster home run. The Cougars added two more runs in the second inning before TCU struck for a pair of runs in the fourth inning. However, that would be as close as TCU would get the rest of the night.
The Cougars pounded out a season-high 15 hits with five different players recording at least two hits. Freshman outfielder Jake Stewart went 4-for-5 with a run and RBI to lead the way, while Cole Bruce batted 3-for-4 with three runs.
Johnson finished the night 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs, and Kevin Roberts went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs in the winning effort.
Freshman righthander Brad Lincoln improved to 2-1 after allowing only two runs off eight hits with four strikeouts in six innings of work. TCU starter Eugene Espineli dropped to 3-2 after giving up seven runs (six earned) off 10 hits with six strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work.
Bo Cogbill went 3-for-4 with a run, and German Duran batted 2-for-5 to lead TCU, which rapped out 11 hits in the game.
The Cougars will play the rubber match against the Horned Frogs at 1p.m., Sunday at Cougar Field. The game can be heard live over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com with C.B. Devoy and Pat Cauley calling the action. Fans also can follow the action through live stats by clicking on the Gametracker at the bottom of the main page at www.UHCougars.com.
The Cougars exploded in their first at-bat with four runs. Stewart led off with a single through the right side and moved into scoring position on Travis Tully's sacrifice bunt. Brett Cooley then slapped and RBI-single up the middle to plate Stewart and give the Cougars their first run of the series.
Bruce followed with a single down the right field line, and Johnson blasted the first pitch he saw from Espineli over the left field wall for a 4-0 UH lead.
The Cougars pushed their lead to 6-0 in the third inning off three more hits. Bruce started the rally with a one-out single up the middle and moved to second base on Johnson's single through the left side. Roberts followed with an RBI-single to left field to plate Bruce, and Roberts scored on Brett Logan's safety squeeze down the first base line.
The Horned Frogs plated two runs in the fourth inning when Sean Stephens slapped a two-RBI single through the left side.
UH pushed its lead back to 7-2 in the bottom of the frame, thanks to a hit and key TCU error. Dustin Kingsbury reached second to lead off when TCU center fielder Nate Thomas dropped a fly ball. Stewart then laced an RBI-single up the middle to score Kingsbury.
In the seventh, the Cougars took advantage of two hits and TCU's second error of the evening to score two more runs. Cooley and Bruce led off with back-to-back singles, and Cooley scored on the way from second base when TCU third baseman Shelby Ford underthrew Johnson's sacrifice bunt attempt. Roberts then lifted a sacrifice fly into right field to score Bruce and cap the scoring for the evening.