April 5, 2003
HOUSTON - Danny Zell allowed only one unearned run through the first seven innings and reliever Ryan Wagner slammed the door on the UAB offense as the University of Houston baseball team took a 2-1 win over the 31st-ranked Blazers on Saturday in the second game of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
Zell, who recorded his team-leading seventh win of the season, retired nine of the first 10 batters that he faced and struck out five with only one walk to improve to 7-2. It was the eighth time in nine starts this season that the Cypress, Texas, native gave the Cougars at least six innings of work.
In the eighth inning, Wagner entered the game and moved quickly through the UAB lineup, striking out each of the six batters he faced over the last two innings. The Yoakum, Texas, native recorded his team-leading seventh save of the season to move into sole possession of third place in UH single-season history in that category.
In addition, Wagner joined the Cougars' career saves leaders at No. 5 with eight.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 16-15 overall, the first time this season that the team stood above the .500 mark. UH also moved up to 8-3 in C-USA play to jump into a tie for first place with Southern Mississippi, which lost 7-3 at Cincinnati on Saturday.
The series wraps up at 1 p.m. Sunday. UH sophomore righthander Garrett Mock (2-2, 4.08) is scheduled to start for the Cougars with UAB slated to throw righthander Scott Gibson (5-0, 1.40).
Fans can catch the action at KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com with pregame slated to begin about 15 minutes before the first pitch. Fans can also catch the action batter-by-batter by visiting www.UHcougars.com and clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the Daily Calendar at the bottom of the main page.
The game was a pitching duel throughout as both teams combined for only three runs off 10 hits. UAB starter Jon Burgett collected his first loss of the year and dropped to 4-1 after giving up two runs off five hits in 5.1 innings.
UH struck for the game's first run in the third inning with a two-out rally. Gabe Lucas started with a double down the left field. After Sam Mitchell was hit by a pitch, Cho laced a single up the middle to plate and give UH an early 1-0 lead.
However, the Blazers rallied to tie the game in the next half inning when Sam Clark scored on a UH infield error.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the sixth inning when UH took a 2-1 lead. Thanos Papavasiliou reached on a one-out single to left field and swiped second base on a close play at the bag. Cole Bruce then laced a double down the right field line to score Papavasiliou.