HOUSTON -- A Jacob Campbell walkoff hit in the ninth, a flawless pitching performance by reliever Patrick Weigel and an errorless game helped spark a 4-3 American Athletic Conference win for No. 22 Houston Baseball over Tulane on Friday evening at Cougar Field.
With the win, the Cougars have now posted back-to-back walkoff wins in their last two home games, and improved their overall record to 22-12 on the year and 3-4 in league play, while Tulane fell to 21-13 and 2-5.
The two teams will meet for Game 2 of the series on Saturday at 2 p.m.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
2 -- With Friday's walkoff win over Tulane, the Cougars have now posted a walkoff win in their last two home games.
8 -- Ashford Fulmer walked in the second inning to extend his on-base streak to eight consecutive games.
19 -- Chris Iriart now rides a 19-game on-base streak.
Sophomore starter Andrew Lantrip (6.2,7,3,3,2,5) struck out five and allowed three runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings, but would receive the no decision in his ninth start of the year.
Weigel (2.1,0,0,0,0,2) was the star on the mound tonight as the junior transfer pitched 2.1 perfect innings with two strikeouts, no walks, no hits and no runs en route to his third win as a Cougar, improving to 3-0.
Houston rallied to out hit the Green Wave, 8-7 as Campbell and junior Josh Vidales led the charge in the ninth-inning, each with a hit.
Campbell finished the night, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and the game-winning RBI, while juniors Kyle Survance (1x4, RBI), Justin Montemayor (1x3, R, RBI) and freshman Corey Julks (1x1, RBI) each drove in runs and tallied a hit.
It took until the fourth inning for either team to break up the 0-0 stalemate, but it was the Cougars who struck for the game's first run. Campbell opened the frame with a leadoff single and was followed up by Wong, who also singled. Rice moved the runners up a base on a sacrifice bunt and Montemayor plated Campbell on a ground ball that was misplayed by the Tulane shortstop.
Houston's lead didn't hold for long as Tulane would make it a 1-1 game in the top of the fifth following a one-out walk and a two-out RBI triple into right center that was nearly caught by Houston's centerfielder junior Ashford Fulmer.
Tulane took the lead in the sixth after a one-out walk led to the Green Wave's second run following a ground ball out. Houston didn't let up as it posted the first crooked inning number of the game with two runs in the latter half of the frame.
With one out in the sixth, Rice singled and Montemayor walked and pinch hitters freshman Zac Taylor and Julks came up big as Taylor reached on a fielder's choice following another Tulane error and Julks singled in Rice to tie the game back up. Survance followed with a sacrifice fly to put the Cougars ahead, 3-2 as the game moved to the seventh inning.
Tulane opened the seventh with a leadoff single, but the pinch runner was picked off at first. A strikeout followed, but the Green Wave didn't back down as the next two hitters reached via a walk and infield single to put runners at first and second. An RBI-single followed to tie the game back at 3-3.
Weigel took over for Lantrip with two outs in the seventh and did his job, inducing an inning-ending groundout to keep the Green Wave to just one run in the inning.
Held scoreless in the seventh and eighth, Weigel was dominant on the mound, keeping Tulane at bay and off the board, giving way to the Cougars in the ninth for the chance to walkoff.
Vidales opened the frame with a single. Conference leading homerun hitter Chris Iriart was asked to lay down a sacrifice bunt and he did, moving Vidales up a base. Campbell came up huge when he drove a pitch that landed inches inside the left field foul line for the game-winning double, scoring Vidales from second -- giving Houston the 4-3 win.
Tulane starter Corey Merrill (5.1,6,3,2,4,3) would also receive the no decision in his ninth start, allowing two earned runs on six hits in 5.1 innings.
Green Wave reliever Patrick Duester (3.0,2,1,1,2,2) suffered the loss, falling to 4-3 on the year.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
"It's a lot more fun to walk somebody off than to get walked off on. It was a good game tonight; we needed one like this. I thought we played hard throughout. Tulane has got a good ball club. We had some things go wrong for us tonight, but they did a tremendous job; they just kept playing."
On improvements to the team
"I make decisions on what gives us the best chance to win. I'll take playing bad and winning all day long."
Junior Jacob Campbell
On what the approach at the plate is in a tight ballgame and what he saw from the pitch he drove
"I was just looking for a good pitch and deciding what the situation is, whether I need to elevate it or get a base hit."
On what a win like this does moving forward
"It is big. We need this spark where we win close games like this. We have to keep carrying on and playing well as a team."
Houston will continue its three-game series with Tulane on Saturday. Game time has been moved up from 6:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. due to a threat of inclement weather in the area. Sunday's game is still slated for a 1 p.m. start.
Saturday, April 11
- Baseball Bingo ... play Bingo all game long, win Prizes!
Sunday, April 12
Superhero Day/Shasta's Kids Club Day
- First 500 fans receive a free UH cape
- Encouraging fans to dress up.Best costume wins a prize.
Single game tickets for the remaining 13 home games at Cougar Field can be purchased by clicking here: UHCougars.com/Basetickets.
Along with the online option, fans can purchase tickets by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office at TDECU Stadium Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or can call 713-GO-COOGS.
Houston Baseball offers variable pricing on its single-game tickets and group rates.
For the first time ever, the pricing breakdown will be determined whether or not you purchase your single-game tickets online vs. at the gate the day of the game as well as whether the Cougars play on a weekday (Monday-Thursday) or weekend (Friday-Sunday).
Weekday: Monday-Thursday; Weekend: Friday-Sunday.
As noted in the table, variable pricing occurs. For weekday (Tuesday nights) online purchases, fans can take in a game, ranging from $5-$7 depending on the choice of seating. If you choose to purchase the day of the game as a Weekday Walk-Up, you will pay roughly $2 more than the online price ($7-$9).
Weekend (Friday-Sunday) online pricing will range from $6-$8 per game, while Weekend Walk-Up pricing the day of the game will run a fan anywhere from $8-$10.
Group rates are also available (as noted in the table). Weekday (Tuesday) and Weekend (Friday-Sunday) pricing occurs. Groups of 10-24 are set at $4-$5 per person, while groups of 25+ are $3-$4 per person.
HOW TO PURCHASE
To purchase tickets in advance, fans must visit the Athletics Ticket Stadium Office located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1 off Cullen Boulevard. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or you can call 713-GO-COOGS.
JOIN THE DUGOUT CLUB
Nationally-ranked Houston Baseball would like to encourage those wishing to support the efforts and success of the baseball student-athletes to consider joining the Dugout Club for as low as $25 a month or $300 annually.
For a minimum monthly installment of $25 or a minimum one-time gift of $300, supporters can take advantage of the Pinch Hitter level, which will guarantee an invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball team apparel.
For a minimum monthly installment of $100 or a minimum one-time gift of $1,000, supporters can take advantage of the Diamond level, which will guarantee batting practice passes for two to any home game, invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball apparel.
**Cougar Pride points will be applied accordingly.
For more information on joining the Dugout Club, please contact the Houston Baseball office at (713) 743-9396.
For more information regarding Cougar Pride, please call (713) 743-GOUH.
Stay up to date with all Houston Baseball news and highlights by following us on Twitter @UHCougarBB or on Facebook at /HoustonCougarBaseball. Fans can also follow head coach Todd Whitting @toddwhitting on Twitter.