April 8, 2007
HOUSTON - Freshman righthander John Touchton limited UAB to only three runs in a career-best seven innings to help lead the University of Houston baseball team to a 10-3 win during the finale of a Conference USA series Sunday afternoon at Cougar Field.
Touchton, who won his second straight start to improve to 3-2, limited the Blazers to only eight hits while striking out three. The Humble native needed only 76 pitches during his stint to help lead the Cougars to the series win over UAB.
Meanwhile, the Cougar offense jumped out to a 4-1 lead after the first inning and never looked back in the win. Although the Blazers pulled to within 5-3 after five-and-a-half innings, UH slugger put another four-spot on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth inning to ice the game.
Sophomore outfielder Jimmy Cesario went 3-for-5 with a run, double and career-best four RBIs to lead the Cougars, while freshman centerfielder Zak Presley batted 2-for-4 with an RBI, stolen base and two runs scored. Junior infielder Ryan Lormand drew three walks and scored three runs, while sophomore Felix Fanaselle walked twice and scored twice.
UAB starter Ben Styes collected the loss and fell to 2-4 after giving up four runs on three hits and a pair of walk in 0.2 innings. It marked the second straight game in the series that the Cougars knocked the Blazer starting pitcher out of the game in the first inning.
Ryne Lovdahl and Jonathan Merritt each batted 2-for-4 with an RBI in the loss.
With the loss, the Cougars improved to 17-14 overall and 5-1 in C-USA games. UAB fell to 16-18 and 4-2 in C-USA games.
The Cougars return to action at 3 p.m., Tuesday, when they travel north to meet Stephen F. Austin at Jaycees Field in a non-conference showdown. Earlier this season, the Cougars enjoyed a 15-6 in the season opener for both teams on Feb. 6 at Cougar Field.
Fans can hear Cougar Baseball games live on UHCougars.com with former Cougar letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans can follow live stats by clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the front page of UHCougars.com or on the Schedule and Results page off the Baseball main page.
The Blazers wasted little time in grabbing an early 1-0 lead on Lovdahl's two-out, RBI-single up the middle to plate Levi Patmon, who laced a single into left field to lead off.
But the Cougars wasted little time in taking their own lead. Lormand drew a leadoff walk, stole second and moved to third after an errant throw to second base. Following a walk to Fanaselle, Cesario hammered a double down the left-field line to tie the game.
Dustin Kingsbury followed with an RBI-single into left field to score Fanaselle, and Josh Stirneman lifted a sacrifice fly into center field to score Cesario. Two batters later, Luis Flores lifted a single into left center to score Kingsbury from second base and hand the Cougars a 4-1 lead.
UAB pulled to within 4-2 in the fourth inning on Merritt's RBI-single through the left side.
The Cougars added another run in the fifth inning. Lormand drew another leadoff walk and moved all the way to third base following a UAB infield error. Cesario then lined an RBI-single into right field for a 5-2 Cougar lead.
UAB cut the UH advantage to 5-3 in the sixth inning when Ryan Keedy scored from third base after J.R. Bond grounded into a double play.
However, that would be as close as the Blazers would get the rest of the way. The Cougars iced the game with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Flores drew a leadoff walk and moved to second following Bryan Pounds' single to center. Presley then lined a single into center field to score Flores. Following back-to-back walks to Lormand and Fanaselle, Cesario slapped a two-run single into right field. Kingsbury then lifted a sacrifice fly into right field to plate Fanaselle for a 9-3 Cougar lead.
The Cougars added their final runs in the eighth inning. Presley led off with a single to left field and stole second base before scoring on Felix Fanaselle's RBI-single through the left side of the infield to cap the scoring for the night.