Cougars Drop Series Opener at ECU, 10-3
April 5, 2012
W: Kevin Brandt (4-2)
NUMBERS OF NOTE
5 Matt Hernandez fanned five hitters in 4.0 innings of work for Houston. Before tonight's game, the southpaw had only recorded a total of five strikeouts.
8 The Cougars were nearly shutout until they used four hits in the top of the ninth to plate three runs.
9 Codey Morehouse had two hits tonight to extend his reaching base streak to nine games.
GREENVILLE, N.C.-- The University of Houston baseball team was never able to respond to two big innings by East Carolina, falling 10-3 in C-USA play on Thursday evening on the road.
The loss dropped the Cougars to 11-17 overall and 1-6 in conference action, while the Pirates improved to 21-8 and 5-2 with the win.
Houston struggled to get things going in early innings after East Carolina posted a four-spot in the second frame following four hits. The Cougars tallied a hit in each of the first two innings, but left runners stranded.
Down 4-0, senior starter Jared Ray tossed two scoreless innings, before running into trouble in the fifth. The Pirates used five hits and three walks to plate six runs to go up 10-0.
Ray (4.0,10,9,7,3,4) suffered the loss and fell to 1-4 on the year after surrendering seven earned runs on 10 hits and three walks with four strikeouts in 4.0 innings of work.
He was relieved by freshman Chris Morales (0.0,0,1,1,3,0) in the fifth with bases loaded and no outs, but Morales wasn't able to record an out and issued three walks, all for runs.
Highlighting the night defensively was the effort by junior reliever Matt Hernandez (4.0,4,0,0,0,5), who came in for Morales with runners on all bases and was able to retire the next three hitters to escape a big jam.
Hernandez pitched a season-high 4.0 innings in relief and struck out a career-best five hitters. Before tonight's outing, the southpaw had only recorded five strikeouts combined in his 11.2 innings.
Houston posted eight hits, four coming in the ninth inning. Leading the way offensively was freshman Cory Kay (2x2, 2B, 2 RBI) with a two-run double and a single for two base hits. Senior Codey Morehouse (2x4, R) also tallied two hits for Houston to extend his reaching base streak to nine consecutive games.
Freshman Price Jacobs (1x3, R, RBI) drove in a run on a single, while scoring a run. Also garnering a hit for the Cougars was junior Chase Jensen (1x4), freshman Zack Gibson (1x1) and sophomore Jonathan Davis (1x4, R).
Houston plated three runs in the ninth inning when Gibson opened the frame with a hard single off the first baseman. With a one out after a fielder's choice, Morehouse singled and Davis reached on an error, allowing Jacobs and Kay to plate them on hits.