GREENVILLE, N.C. -- In a much-anticipated Top 20 matchup to open American Athletic Conference play, No. 15 Houston Baseball fell 3-1 at No. 19 East Carolina Friday evening at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville, N.C.
With the loss, the Cougars fell to 16-9 overall and 0-1 in league play, while the Pirates moved to 18-8 and 1-0.
The series between the No. 15 Cougars and the No. 19 Pirates will continue at 3 p.m. CT Saturday and wrap at 10 a.m. CT Sunday. Saturday's game will air on the American Digital Network: http://theamerican.org/watch/
ON THE BUMP BREAKDOWN
Andrew Lantrip -- 8.0 IP / 7 H / 3 R / 2 BB / 4 K
Houston starter Andrew Lantrip (8.0,7,3,3,2,4) went the distance, tossing 8.0 innings, but would suffer the tough loss, falling to 4-3 on the year. The nation's leader in strikeout-to-walk ratio surrendered three runs on seven hits, two walks with four strikeouts in his seventh start of the year.
The offense came out swinging in the first inning, posting four hits, but would eventually be slowed down by East Carolina starter Evan Kruczynski -- finishing the night with nine hits to out hit the Pirates, 9-7.
The Cougars would strand 11 base runners including bases loaded in both the first and eighth innings. Senior Justin Montemayor swung the bat well; going 3-for-4 with the lone RBI for Houston, while sophomore Connor Wong went 1-for-5, scoring the only run.
Senior Michael Pyeatt extended his hit streak to 17 straight games with his single in the first, while freshman Joe Davis (1x4), sophomore Corey Julks (1x4), senior Josh Vidales (1x3) and sophomore Clay Casey all had a hit.
Vidales also walked to bring his overall total to 124 career walks, nine shy of breaking the all-time Houston walk record.
Houston quickly used a four-hit first inning to go ahead 1-0 on the Pirates as Wong led off the game with a single, Pyeatt followed with an infield single, before Montemayor singled into right field, scoring Wong for the game's first run.
The Cougars looked to have the early-game momentum, but would leave bases loaded to end the frame -- sending Lantrip to the bump for his seventh start of the year.
East Carolina was held hitless until Bryce Harman drilled the first pitch he saw over the right field wall to tie the game in the bottom of the third to make it a 1-1 game. The Pirates tried to take a 2-1 lead, but Casey would gun down the runner attempting to score from second to keep the game even.
East Carolina broke up the 1-1 stalemate in the bottom half of the fifth when the first two hitters reach via the hit-by-pitch and walk. A fielder's choice put runners at the corners with one for an RBI-squeeze bunt to make it a 2-1 game in favor of the Pirates.
An RBI-single in the sixth would score another for East Carolina, as it went ahead 3-1 over the Cougars.
Houston had a chance in the eighth when it opened the frame with back-to-back singles by Davis and Montemayor, but the Cougars would once again strand bases loaded as East Carolina escaped without any damage done, keeping the score 3-1 in favor of the Pirates.
Kruczynski (7.0,9,1,1,1,8) fanned eight and allowed just one run on nine hits and walk in the win as he improved to 4-0 on the year for East Carolina. Reliever Joe Ingle (2.0,0,0,0,1,1) earned the save -- his sixth.
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
BUY SEASON/ SINGLE-GAME / GROUP TICKETS
Houston Baseball has 15 remaining home games at Darryl & Lori Schroeder Park this 2016 season and fans can purchase season tickets for as low as $99 online by visiting UHCougars.com/tickets and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
To purchase tickets in person, fans can 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.
Houston Baseball will offer variable pricing on its single-game tickets and group rates.
As noted in the table above, variable pricing occurs. For weekday (Tuesday/Wednesday) games, prices range from $5-$7 depending on the choice of seating.
Weekend ((Thursday) Friday-Sunday) online pricing will range from $6-$8 per game.
Group rates are also available (as noted in the table). Weekday (Tuesday/Wednesday) and Weekend ((Thursday) Friday-Sunday) pricing occurs. Groups of 10-24 are set at $4-$5 per person, while groups of 25+ are $3-$4 per person.
All UH main campus students are admitted FREE to regular-season baseball home games with a valid student ID.
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.