Cougars Fall Inches Short in 3-2 Loss to Louisville
April 12, 2014
HOUSTON - Inches from tying the game in the bottom of the ninth, No. 7 Houston falls in its second straight American Athletic Conference heartbreaker, 3-2, to No. 10 Louisville at Cougar Field on Saturday evening.
The Cougars fell to 26-8 overall and 4-4 in conference play, while Louisville improved to 26-8 and 6-2 in league play.
Houston and Louisville played to a 0-0 game until sophomore Kyle Survance belted his first career homerun on a one-out 2-2 pitch in the third to put the Cougars up 1-0. The Cougars then tacked on another run in the fifth when senior Caleb Barker drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on the sacrifice bunt by junior Cole Coakley and to third on a groundout and later scored on a Louisville throwing error to gain the 2-0 advantage.
Houston starter Jake Lemoine (7.1,5,3,2,1,6) came out and was dominant in his ninth start of the year, tossing 7.1 innings with six strikeouts. The righty allowed just two earned runs on five hits and one walk, but was tagged with the loss - falling to 5-2 on the year.
Senior reliever Tyler Ford (1.2,0,0,0,0,2) came in and tossed 1.2 hitless frames with two strikeouts to give Houston a chance in the ninth.
Down 3-2 with three outs to play, senior Jacob Lueneburg drew a pinch-hit walk and took second on a wild pitch. A wild pitch strikeout swinging put senior Landon Appling at first. A popout followed for Louisville as the Cougars had runners at the corners with one out. Sophomore Josh Vidales reached on a fielding error but was credited with the sacrifice to load the bases. Senior Casey Grayson came up and roped a ball up the middle, but Cardinal shortstop Sutton Whitting made an incredible diving play to induce the double play to end the game.
Houston out hit Louisville, 6-5 as Survance (1x4, R, RBI) led the charge with a solo homerun, followed by sophomore Ashford Fulmer (2x3) and junior Michael Pyeatt (2x4) led the team with two hits. Also adding a base hit in the effort was senior Casey Grayson (1x5).
Louisville plated three runs in the sixth and never looked back as the Cardinals used two hit and a Houston error to take the mid-game lead.
The Cardinals' starter Jared Ruxer (6.0,5,2,1,2,3) was credited with the win to improve to 6-1 after allowing one earned run on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Closer Nick Burdi (1.0,0,0,0,1,1) earned his second straight save and his seventh of the year.
The loss marked just the fourth home loss of the year for the Cougars - who are now 19-4 at Cougar Field.
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