April 4, 2003
HOUSTON - Michael Bourn slapped an RBI-single to score Stuart Musslewhite in the bottom of the ninth and help lead the University of Houston baseball team to a 4-3 win over UAB in the first game of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
The Cougars (15-15, 7-3 C-USA) rallied from a 3-0 deficit after five innings to reach the .500 mark and tied with East Carolina for second place in the latest league standings.
Musslewhite led off the final inning with a looping single into center field and moved to second base when Nick Bott's sacrifice bunt stopped on the first-base line for an infield single. After Brett Logan laid a bunt down the first base line, UAB reliever Jeff Brown fielded the grounder and attempted to throw out Musslewhite racing to third base.
However, the Houston native beat the throw to load the bases and set the stage for Bourn's heroics. With the Blazer infield drawn in, Bourn slapped a 3-2 pitch off Brown's glove in to center field to score Musslewhite.
The series continues at 7 p.m., Saturday with game two of the series. Junior southpaw Danny Zell (6-2, 2.21) will take the hill for the Cougars while UAB will counter with southpaw Jon Burgett (4-0, 3.00).
Fans can catch the action on KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com with pregame slated to begin about 15 minutes before first pitch. For live stats with batter-by-batter action, fans can also visit the UH web site at www.UHcougars.com and click on the "Gametracker" link on the Daily Calendar at the bottom of the main page.
UH reliever Ryan Wagner earned his first win of the season and improved to 1-4 after pitching 0.1 inning with a strikeout. The Yoakum, Texas, native entered the game with a UAB baserunner on second base and two outs but struck out Sam Clark to end the threat.
Although he didn't record a decision, Cougar southpaw Brian Henderson was the star of the UH staff on Friday as he retired nine of the 10 batters he faced while tying career bests with five strikeouts in three innings.
Brown collected the loss and dropped to 3-2 after giving up one run off four hits in 2.2 innings of relief.
The game was not an offensive showdown as both teams combined for only 11 hits with UH's seven leading the way. Matt Farrington went 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead the Cougars, while Kyle Leon batted 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs to top the Blazers.
UAB struck for three runs in the fifth inning on Leon's two-RBI single and a sacrifice fly from Daniel Hill.
However, the Cougars knotted the game in the sixth inning with a three-spot of its own on the scoreboard. After a walk to Bourn and Tully's single through the right side, Hyung Cho plated Bourn with an RBI-single up the middle.
Thanos Papavasiliou was hit by a Trotter offering to load the bases and Farrington drew a walk to score Tully and pull the Cougars to within one. After a UAB pitching change, Sam Mitchell grounded out to third base but not before Cho scored the game-tying run.