April 8, 2006
HOUSTON - Pinch hitter Tim Guidry's two-run single in the seventh inning broke open a close game and helped lift No. 18 Tulane to an 8-4 win over the University of Houston baseball team Saturday in the second game of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
After falling behind 5-1 through four-and-a-half inning, UH battled back with a run in the fifth inning and pulled to within a run on Bryan Tully's two-out, two-run single in the sixth inning. But the Green Wave put the first two runners on to lead off the next half inning and broke the game open on Guidry's single to left center.
UH starter Ricky Hargrove collected the loss and dropped to 3-3 after giving up five runs off eight hits with a strikeout in three innings.
Tulane starter Brandon Gomes improved to 4-4 after holding the Cougars to four runs off six hits with four strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
Sophomore outfielder Bryan Tully went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while freshman shortstop Travis Cougot batted 2-for-4 with a run in the losing effort. Junior Brad Lincoln blasted a solo home run in the second inning, his third consecutive game with a homer, for the Cougars' first run, and senior catcher Brett Logan batted 2-for-4 to lead the UH offense.
Tulane's Mark Hamilton went 2-for-3 with a home run, double, two runs and four RBIs to pace the Green Wave, which outhit the Cougars 12-8. Guidry finished the night 2-for-2 with a double and three RBIs, while Nathan Southard batted 2-for-5 with a pair of runs. Cat Everett went 2-for-3 with a run and Warren McFadden batted 2-for-4 with a run, double and RBI.
With the win, Tulane evened the regular-season series. The two teams will play the series rubber match at 3 p.m., Sunday. Fans and media should note that the starting time for Sunday's game was pushed back to accommodate College Sports Television's coverage of the game to a national television audience. It will be the first time in 2006 that the Cougars have been featured on television.
Carter Blackburn will call the play-by-play action for CSTV while former Major Leaguer Kevin Stocker will provide color analysis.
In addition to the television coverage, both games can be heard live over the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with former UH letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans also can follow play-by-play action by clicking on the "Live Stats" link on the schedule at www.UHCougars.com.
Following Sunday's game, fans will be able to "Meet the Cougars" in a postgame autograph session.
Freshman righthander Luis Flores is expected to toe the rubber for the Cougars in the series finale. It will be the seventh start of his collegiate career after moving into the weekend rotation against Monmouth on Feb. 26. This season, he has pitched to a 2-2 record with 31 strikeouts and a 2.53 ERA in 42.2 innings. His ERA ranks third among all UH hurlers.
Flores also is a regular in the Cougar lineup on the days that he does not pitch. This season, Flores has started all but one game to date while seeing time at catcher or first base on the days he does not pitch. In the second game of the Marshall series on March 24, he made his first career start in right field. That was the fifth different position at which the versatile freshman has started in 2006.
Along the way, he has compiled a .281 batting average with seven doubles, a home run and 12 RBIs.
In his last start, Flores collected the loss after giving up two runs off five hits with seven strikeouts in 3.2 innings during the East Carolina series finale on April 2 in Greenville, N.C.
Sunday's finale will be the first time that Flores has faced the Green Wave.
Tulane righthander Stephen Porlier is expected to start Sunday in the series finale. This season, Porlier has compiled a 4-2 record with 25 strikeouts and a team-best 2.77 ERA in 39.0 innings of work.
The Green Wave struck for the game's first run in their first at bats when Hamilton's double to the wall in right center scored Everett and Southard.
The Cougars cut that deficit in half when Lincoln blasted a 1-1 offering over the right-field fence.
Tulane pushed its lead in the next half inning on Hamilton's two-run homer to right field and Warren McFadden's RBI-single.
The score remained that way until the fifth inning when the Cougars added another run. Cougot led off with a looping single into shallow center field and raced all the way to third base following Logan's single through the right side. Cougot then took advantage of a wild pitch to score and trim the Tulane lead to 5-2.
One inning later, the Cougars pulled to within a run. Josh Stirneman and Matt Weston started the rally with two-out walks and moved up a base after a balk. Tully then laced a single through the left side of the infield to score both runners and pull UH to within a run at 5-4.
However, that would be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way. After Guidry's two-run single, the Green Wave added an insurance run in the ninth inning following back-to-back doubles from McFadden and Guidry.