April 12, 2006
LAKE CHARLES, La. - University of Houston senior outfielder Matt Weston hit for the cycle and added a career-high five RBIs to lead the Cougars to an 11-1 win over McNeese State on Tuesday in a non-conference game at Cowboy Diamond.
Weston, who was named a Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week as well as the Conference USA Hitter of the Week, finished the night 4-for-5 with three runs scored. The Chino Hills, Calif., native blasted a three-run homer in the second inning and ripped an RBI-triple off the center field wall two innings later.
In the fifth inning, Weston laced an RBI-double down the left field line. He reached on an error in the sixth inning but lined an RBI-single into center field in his final at bat in the eighth inning for the cycle.
Weston became only the fourth player in school history to hit for the cycle. However, he joined senior infielder and teammate Isa Garcia in that category during the 2006 season after Garcia accomplished the feat at C-USA rival East Carolina on April 1, 2005.
Weston was only one part of a Cougar offensive attack that racked up a season-high 19 hits, including six for extra bases. Junior infielder Josh Stirneman went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, while junior infielder Dustin Kingsbury batted 3-for-5 with a double, triple and three runs. Junior outfielder Jake Stewart also batted 3-for-4 in the win.
Meanwhile, six Cougar pitchers combined to hold McNeese State to only one unearned run off four hits with seven strikeouts. After giving up an unearned run without the benefit of a hit in the first inning, UH hurlers combined to keep the Cowboys scoreless over the final eight frames.
As part of a set UH rotation, Cougar starter Ricky Hargrove picked up the win and improved to 4-3 after holding the Cowboys to only one unearned run thanks to two walks and a error with a strikeout in two innings of work.
McNeese State Ryan Frantz collected the loss and fell to 0-1 after giving up five runs off eight hits with three strikeouts in three innings.
MSU outfielder Charlie Kingery batted 2-for-4 to lead the Cowboy offense.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 22-14 overall and won for the 10th time in their last 13 games. McNeese State fell to 19-13 overall this season.
The Cougars return to action this weekend when they meet No. 22 Southern Miss in a three-game Conference USA series at Hill Denson Field/Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg, Miss. That series begins at 6:30 p.m., Friday, continues at 4 p.m., Saturday and wraps up at 1 p.m., Sunday.
All three 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.
McNeese State grabbed the early lead with a single run in its first at bat on Thomas Zabasky's sacrifice fly to center field.
UH grabbed its first lead in the next half-inning. Kingsbury led off with an infield single, and Weston launched a 1-2 offering over the wall in left field for a 2-1 UH lead.
The Cougar took control of the game in the fourth inning with a power surge. Kingsbury led off with a sharp single to left field and came all the way around to score on Weston's triple off the center field wall. Bryan Tully then smashed the first pitch he saw from Frantz over the wall in left center.
Travis Cougot continued the rally by reaching on a fielder's choice and moved into scoring position following Stewart's single to left field. Garcia then capped the scoring and plated Cougot with a single into center field for a 6-1 UH lead.
In the fifth inning, Weston struck again for the Cougars. Kingsbury led off with a triple into right center and scored when Weston lifted a double down the left-field line. Weston then scored himself following a pair of groundouts.
After leading off the sixth inning with a single to left and stealing second base, Cougot moved to third on Stewart's single to left field. Pinch hitter Brian Temko then lifted a sacrifice fly into right field to score Cougot for a 9-1 UH lead.
In the eighth inning, the Cougars put two more runs on the scoreboard. Bryan Pounds led off with a single to left field and moved all the way to third base on pinch hitter Tom Williams' ground-rule double down the right-field line. Weston then laced a one-out RBI-single into center field to reach the cycle and score Pounds. Two batters later, Stirneman ripped an RBI-single through the right side of the infield to plate Williams for an 11-1 UH lead.