Baseball Explodes in Extra Innings to Knock Off Lamar

    Junior righthander Aaron Brown
    Junior righthander Aaron Brown
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    March 27, 2007

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    BEAUMONT, Texas - Ryan Lormand's RBI-single in the top of the 10th inning scored Zak Presley from second base and ignited an offensive outburst to help lift the University of Houston baseball team to a 17-10 win over Lamar on Tuesday evening at Vincent-Beck Stadium.

    After tying the game in the top of the ninth inning on Bryan Tully's RBI-groundout to force extra frames, the Cougars wasted little time in the 10th inning in grabbing the lead for good. Zak Presley led off with a sharp single to right field and then stole second base to move into scoring position.

    Facing an apparent sacrifice bunt, Lormand showed he was bunting but drew the bat back at the moment and lined a base hit up the middle to break the tie.

    The Cougars, who led 9-3 after four innings but saw that advantage disappear in the eighth, continued to build their advantage in the top of 10th inning, thanks to Jimmy Cesario's RBI-single, back-to-back, bases-loaded walks to Luis Flores and Bryan Pounds and Presley's bases-clearing double.

     

     

    That would be all the run support that UH reliever Aaron Brown needed to collect the win and improve to 4-1. The Cougars' regular Friday night starter, Brown came out of the bullpen and pitched two perfect innings with a strikeout.

    Lamar reliever Scott Meyer picked up the loss and fell to 0-1 after giving up four runs off four this and a walk with four strikeouts in three innings.

    Lamar appeared to grab all the momentum after taking a 10-9 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. After singles from Ryan Baker and Jeff Vickers and a walk to David Moore loaded the bases, pinch hitter Michael Ambort drew a bases-loaded walk to force in Baker.

    But in the top of the ninth inning, Dustin Kingsbury led off with a bloop single into shallow right field and moved into scoring position following a walk to Josh Stirneman. After Luis Flores advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt, Bryan Tully grounded out to shortstop but Kingsbury raced in from third base to tie the game at 10-10.

    Presley went 3-for-4 with a double, three runs and three RBIs to lead a Cougar offense, which outhit Lamar 14-13 and saw every starter collect at least one hit. Senior first baseman Josh Stirneman went 2-for-3 with two runs, a double and three RBIs, while senior third baseman Dustin Kingsbury, who started the 147th consecutive game of his career, batted 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.

    Sophomore outfielder Jimmy Cesario went 2-for-6 with two runs and an RBI, while junior infielder Bryan Pounds and sophomore catcher Luis Flores each added a pair of RBIs.

    Collin DeLome batted 3-for-6 with three runs, two homers and a game-high five RBIs to lead Lamar. Ryan Baker batted 3-for-5 with four runs, a double and RBI, and outfielder David Moore batted 2-for-4 in the losing effort. Brian Lloyd also batted 2-for-5 with a run.

    With the win, the Cougars improved to 15-12 overall, extended their winning streak to a season-best-tying four straight games and stood three games above the .500 mark for the first time in 2007. Lamar dropped to 18-11 overall.

    The Cougars also swept Lamar during the regular-season series after enjoying a 7-1 win on March 6 in Houston and won in Beaumont for the first time since 1996.

    The Cougars will now enjoy a week off before returning to action at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday when they continue their road swing against Baylor in Waco. With nine teams playing baseball in Conference USA, each team enjoys a bye weekend during the C-USA regular-season schedule.

    While some teams elect to play non-conference weekend series during that time, other teams - like the Cougars - decide to take the weekend off. This will be the first time since Feb. 5-7, 1999, that the Cougars will enjoy a weekend off during the regular season. A year ago, the Cougars took their bye weekend during the final weekend of the C-USA regular-season but had already completed their regular-season schedule

    When the Cougars return to action, fans can hear the games 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.

    The Cardinals struck for the game's first three runs in the first inning on Jeff Vickers' sacrifice fly, a wild pitch that allowed Baker to score and Keith Towne's two-out, RBI-single.

    The Cougars grabbed the lead in the third inning, taking advantage of four hits and a pair of Lamar errors. Presley led off with a bunt single and advanced to second base following the first Cardinal miscue. Felix Fanaselle drew a one-out walk, and two batters later, Kingsbury lined an RBI-single into right field to plate Presley. Both Kingsbury and Fanaselle took advantage of an errant throw home to move up a base, and both runners scored on Stirneman's two-run double down the right-field line to tie the game at 3-3.

    Flores then smashed the first pitch he saw up the middle to plate Stirneman and give the Cougars a 4-3 lead.

    The Cougars pushed their lead to 9-3 in the next inning, thanks to two hits and four Lamar errors. Pounds' RBI-single to center field plated Bryan Tully, who led off with a triple to left center. Pounds eventually scored on a fielder's choice from Fanaselle, and Stirneman added a sacrifice fly to score Cesario while both Fanaselle and Presley came around to score on Cardinal miscues.

    Lamar cut into the Cougar lead in the fifth inning on Baker's RBI-double and DeLome's two-run homer.

    One inning later, the Cardinals tied the game with three more runs, thanks on DeLome's three-run homer to right field.

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