April 6, 2003
HOUSTON - Brian Martin blasted a walk-off, solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to help lead the University of Houston baseball team to a 3-2 win over UAB in the finale of a Conference USA series on Sunday at Cougar Field.
UH (17-15, 9-3 C-USA) rallied from a 2-0 deficit after the first four-and-a-half innings and knotted the game in the sixth before Martin's heroics. The sophomore from Texas City, Texas, crushed his second homer of the year on a 3-1 offering from UAB reliever Cody Cillo to the opposite field over the left field fence to end both the game and the season series.
It was the first walk-off homer by a Cougar since Chris Snyder gave the Cougars a 3-2 win over Baylor at the 2002 Minute Maid Park College Classic on Feb. 8, 2002.
With the win, the Cougars swept UAB (21-10, 6-5 C-USA) and remained in a tie for first place in the league with Southern Mississippi, which won 3-2 on Sunday at Cincinnati. The Cougars also were the only C-USA team to record a sweep this weekend and defeated UAB for the 16th time in the last 17 meetings.
UH reliever Brian Henderson provided steady pitching for the Cougars and collected his second win to improve to 2-2. The Sugar Land, Texas, native allowed only one hit with four strikeouts in three shutout innings. In the series opener Friday, the junior southpaw tossed three innings of shutout ball to help lead UH to a 4-3 win.
Cillo collected the loss and fell to 4-3 after allowing only Martin's hit in 1.2 innings of relief.
Daniel Hill went 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead UAB, which managed only four hits off three Cougar pitchers.
The Blazers took advantage of two walks, two hits and a Cougar error to score the game's first run in the first inning. UAB, which was ranked No. 31 in the latest poll from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, then added another run in the fifth inning when Steve Martin's RBI-groundout scored Josh Miljavic from third base for a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth, the Cougars cut into the UAB lead with a run. Gabe Lucas slapped a single up the middle and stole second to move into scoring position. After moving up one base on an infield groundout, Lucas put the score at 2-1 on Bott's RBI-groundout.
The Cougars knotted the game at 2-2 one inning later. Matt Farrington walked and stole second base to move into scoring position. Papavasiliou then laced a two-out single to right field, and Farrington scored the game-tying run when the ball slipped from the hand of Martin in right field on the throw to the infield.
The Cougars return to action at 7 p.m., Tuesday as they play host to Southwest Texas State at Cougar Field. The game can be heard live on KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com. Pregame is slated to begin about 15 minutes before first pitch.