ORLANDO, Fla. - In a game that saw No. 15 Houston Baseball leading most of the way fell in favor of No. 6 UCF as the Knights rallied in the ninth for the 4-3 walkoff win over the Cougars on Sunday to earn the American Athletic Conference series victory to open league play.
With the loss, Houston dropped its first series of the year, and fell to 19-9 on the season and 1-2 in conference play, while UCF improved to 22-7 and 2-1 in league action.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
10 - With Chris Iriart's triple in the fifth, he now has hit safely in 10 straight games.
11 - Kyle Survance drew a leadoff walk in the first to extend his on-base streak to 11 straight games.
13 - Chris Iriart triples and now rides a 13-game on-base streak.
14 - Connor Wong has reached base in 14 straight games as a true freshman led off the second with a walk.
31 - Josh Vidales has reached base in 31 straight games, dating back to 2014.
Houston held a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, but UCF used a leadoff single and hit-by-pitch, throwing error and walkoff single to win it late over the Cougars.
Houston's pitching staff that featured five different arms held the nation's top offense to just four runs on eight hits in the loss.
Senior Aaron Garza (4.1,4,1,1,1,6) was the bright spot out of the bullpen today as Garza struck out six and allowed just one run on four hits in 4.1 innings in relief.
He handed the ball over to junior Patrick Weigel (0.2,0,0,0,2,1) and freshman Aaron Fletcher (1.0,0,0,0,0,0) - who combined to throw 1.2 hitless innings. Freshman Seth Romero (0.1,2,2,1,1,1) saw his second relief appearance in as many days, striking out one in 0.1 innings, but allowing the tying and winning run to cross in the ninth as he was credited with the loss, falling to 3-2 on the year.
Senior Taylor Cobb (1.1,2,1,1,3,0) got the start and went 1.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits with three walks before being relieved in the second inning by Garza.
Houston's offense posted eight hits on the afternoon, led by freshman Zac Taylor - who drove in two of the Cougars' three runs on a double and sacrifice fly. Junior Jacob Campbell notched a three-hit day, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Junior Josh Vidales walked to extend his on-base streak of reaching base safely to 31 straight games.
UCF scored first as the Knights used a two-out double, a walk and RBI single to jump on Houston early, but Cobb induced an inning-ending groundout to strand two runners.
Houston would use a two-run second inning to take over the lead at 2-1 after Wong led off the frame with a walk, moved up two bases on back-to-back bunt singles from Campbell and Grilli to load the bases for Fulmer, who singled through the left side to tie the game. Taylor would then hit a fly ball to centerfield to score Campbell, who tagged on the sacrifice fly - giving Houston the early lead.
UCF threatened in the second when the leadoff hitter reached by virtue of a missed foul ball and then two walks, but Cobb handed the ball over to teammate Garza, who was able to keep UCF off the board with a groundout and flyout.
After a strikeout by Garza to open the bottom of the third, the Knights would loaded the bases following a walk and two hits, but Garza would escape any damage by striking out the side to keep UCF off the board.
Houston would take a 3-1 lead when Taylor doubled and plated Campbell, who opened the frame with a single. UCF would scratch across a run in the latter half of the sixth following an RBI-groundout after two hits.
Leading 3-2, both staffs worked scoreless sevenths and eighths to send the game into the ninth as Houston led by a run.
UCF reliever Zach Rodgers (8.0,5,1,1,3,5) earned the win, allowing one run on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 8.0 innings out of the pen for the Knights.
Houston will continue its eight game road tour when it travels to Waco, Texas on Tuesday to face Baylor in a midweek showdown, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
With 31 home games set for 2015 at Cougar Field and a Top 10 nationally-ranked program representing the University of Houston, the Cougars are proud to announce that single-game tickets are now on sale at UHCougars.com/Basetickets.
Along with the online option, fans can purchase tickets by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office at TDECU Stadium Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or can call 713-GO-COOGS.
Houston Baseball will offer variable pricing on its single-game tickets and group rates.
For the first time ever, the pricing breakdown will be determined whether or not you purchase your single-game tickets online vs. at the gate the day of the game as well as whether the Cougars play on a weekday (Monday-Thursday) or weekend (Friday-Sunday).
Weekday: Monday-Thursday; Weekend: Friday-Sunday.
As noted in the table, variable pricing occurs. For weekday (Tuesday nights) online purchases, fans can take in a game, ranging from $5-$7 depending on the choice of seating. If you choose to purchase the day of the game as a Weekday Walk-Up, you will pay roughly $2 more than the online price ($7-$9).
Weekend (Friday-Sunday) online pricing will range from $6-$8 per game, while Weekend Walk-Up pricing the day of the game will run a fan anywhere from $8-$10.
Group rates are also available (as noted in the table). Weekday (Tuesday) and Weekend (Friday-Sunday) pricing occurs. Groups of 10-24 are set at $4-$5 per person, while groups of 25+ are $3-$4 per person.
With single-game tickets available now, Houston Baseball still encourages supporters to become Season Ticket members and enjoy the attractive pricing and rewards that come with up-front purchasing for the entire 2015 season.
HOW TO PURCHASE
To purchase tickets in advance, fans must visit the Athletics Ticket Stadium Office located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1 off Cullen Boulevard. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or you can call 713-GO-COOGS.
JOIN THE DUGOUT CLUB
Nationally-ranked Houston Baseball would like to encourage those wishing to support the efforts and success of the baseball student-athletes to consider joining the Dugout Club for as low as $25 a month or $300 annually.
For a minimum monthly installment of $25 or a minimum one-time gift of $300, supporters can take advantage of the Pinch Hitter level, which will guarantee an invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball team apparel.
For a minimum monthly installment of $100 or a minimum one-time gift of $1,000, supporters can take advantage of the Diamond level, which will guarantee batting practice passes for two to any home game, invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball apparel.
**Cougar Pride points will be applied accordingly.
For more information on joining the Dugout Club, please contact the Houston Baseball office at (713) 743-9396.
For more information regarding Cougar Pride, please call (713) 743-GOUH.
Stay up to date with all Houston Baseball news and highlights by following us on Twitter @UHCougarBB or on Facebook at /HoustonCougarBaseball. Fans can also follow head coach Todd Whitting @toddwhitting on Twitter.