April 11, 2014
No. 10 LOUISVILLE
No. 7 HOUSTON
HOUSTON - Playing in front of the largest home crowd since 2002, No. 7 Houston Baseball was edged in a 4-2 American Athletic Conference heartbreaker to No. 10 Louisville on Friday night at Cougar Field.
The loss dropped Houston to a record of 26-7 and marked just its third home loss of the season at 19-3. The Cougars now sit at 4-3 in conference, while Louisville improved to 25-8 and 5-2 in league play.
The 3,349 fans at Cougar Field tonight was the best home crowd since 3,788 fans were on hand for Houston vs. LSU back on Feb. 24, 2002. Unofficially, tonight's attendance marks the biggest home crowd in conference play in program history.
Houston jumped ahead with four of its five hits coming in the first inning, but Louisville responded with a three-run fifth to take the lead and never look back.
Of the five hits, sophomore Josh Vidales led the way with two base hits, while scoring one of the Cougars' runs. Sophomore Justin Montemayor drove in a run on a base hit, while senior Frankie Ratcliff used a sacrifice fly to put Houston up early in the first.
Houston starter Aaron Garza (6.1,6,4,1,2,5) tossed an impressive ninth start of the season, but was tagged with the unfortunate loss after allowing just one earned run on six scattered hits and two walks to accompany his five strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work. With the loss, Garza fell to 6-3 on the year.
Out of the pen, junior Jared Robinson (2.0,2,0,0,2,1) fanned one and walked two, while allowing two hits in 2.0 innings - joining senior Aaron Stewart (0.2,0,0,0,0,0) who finished off a scoreless ninth with two outs recorded.
Louisville starter Kyle Funkhouser (7.0,5,2,2,2,8) was hit around a bit in the first, but settled in and struck out eight in 7.0 innings of work, while allowing two runs on five hits and two walks to improve to 7-1 on the year.
Closer Nick Burdi (1.1,0,0,0,0,1) earned his sixth save of the year for the Cardinals with 1.1 innings of relief work.
Houston jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning after the Cougars tallied four hits. Survance opened the Houston half with a single into left field and took second on a field error. Vidales followed with an infield single and Grayson laid down a perfect bunt single to load the bases. Montemayor then followed with an RBI-single off the pitchers' hand and Ratcliff put Houston up 2-0 on a sacrifice fly.
Garza was lights out through the first 4.2 innings before Louisville struck for a three-run fifth inning. With two outs, the Cardinals tallied back-to-back knocks, but a Houston error would extend the inning and score a run - which later to a two-run double - allowing Louisville to take over the lead at 3-2.
With runners at first and second in the seventh, Garza exited and handed the ball over to Robinson. Louisville struck for another hit into right field as Survance came up gunning for the runner at home - too close of a play - the Cardinals were favored as they took a 4-2 lead.
Houston was held to just one hit following the first inning, which was a Vidales single in the fifth.
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Houston and Louisville will continue their series on Saturday at Cougar Field. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. The series will wrap up on Sunday at Noon.
By visiting UHCougars.com, clicking the Tickets link, and then Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page or by clicking here, fans can begin purchasing tickets for single games at Cougar Field this season.
KIDS (8th grade & younger) with CAMP T-SHIRT GET IN FREE
Kids who show up to Cougar Field in a UH Baseball Camp T-Shirt and are in the eighth grade or younger will receive FREE ADMISSION to any Houston Baseball home game.