Cougars' Rally Falls Short in 2-1 Loss to Memphis
March 28, 2014
HOUSTON – Houston Baseball saw its ninth inning rally fall just short in a 2-1 American Athletic Conference loss to Memphis Friday evening at Cougar Field. The Cougars continue play at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Game 2 of the three-game series.
The Cougars fell to 20-5 on the year and 0-1 in league play, while Memphis improved to 16-9 and 2-2 with the win. Houston fell to just 16-2 at home this season and now three of the Cougars’ five total losses have come by one run.
Houston plated its only run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI-fielder’s choice off the bat of sophomore Josh Vidales, but that run wasn’t enough as Memphis held on to its lead and escaped with the series-opening win.
The Cougars received solid pitching from a combined effort from junior starter Aaron Garza (8.0,5,2,1,0,0) and junior reliever Jared Robinson (1.0,0,0,0,0,1) who combined to allow one earned run, while holding Memphis to just five hits without issuing a walk.
Garza suffered his first loss of the year, falling to 6-1 – after a gutsy performance, allowing just one earned run on five hits and no walks. Robinson pitched a hitless ninth with one strikeout.
Houston’s offense stranded seven base runners and tallied just seven hits, led by junior Michael Pyeatt and sophomore Justin Montemayor’s two-hit effort. Sophomore Kyle Survance (1x4) and senior Casey Grayson (1x4) added a hit each, while senior Caleb Barker walked and scored the Cougars lone run.
Memphis opened with a run in the first following a fielding error by Houston. The run came following an error, hit-by-pitch, sacrifice bunt and RBI-groundout.
Tiger starter Caleb Wallingford held the Houston hitters at bay and scoreless through five complete, allowing his team to take a 2-0 lead following a three-hit sixth inning.
Despite being down 2-0, Garza held Memphis without a hit until the fifth inning.
The Cougars had a few chances to capitalize on several free passes, but hits didn’t fall with runners in scoring position. The ninth-inning was Houston’s last chance, but Memphis made two pitching changes in the inning, keeping the Cougars off-balanced.
Memphis starter Caleb Wallingford (7.0,4,0,0,2,6) struck out six Cougars and allowed just four hits and two walks in his 7.0 innings of work for the win to improve to 4-1.
Tigers closer Bryce Beeler (1.0,0,0,0,0,1) struck out one and recorded all three outs in the ninth for his sixth save of the year.
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