April 13, 2002
HOUSTON, Texas - The University of Houston baseball team continued its recent hot streak Saturday with a 15-3 win over Memphis in game two of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
For the second straight night, the Cougars scored 15 runs while rapping out 13 hits in the contest. Defensively, UH pitchers tied their own team and C-USA team record set Friday night with 19 strikeouts in the game and have now struck out 38 Tiger hitters in the first two games of the series.
With the win, the Cougars improved their C-USA home winning streak to 24 consecutive games and have now won their last eight games at Cougar Field by a combined score of 82-10. UH also defeated Memphis for the eighth straight time and improved its record in the all-time series to 16-2.
The series concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday at Cougar Field. Fans can hear the action live on KGBC Radio 1540 AM. Sophomore righthander Gene Flores will start his ninth game of the season when he takes the hill against the Tigers. This season, Flores has pitched to a 2-2 record with a 6.14 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 44.0 innings.
Making his first start of the year in C-USA play, sophomore southpaw Danny Zell improved to 4-0 after scattering six hits with only one run in 5.0 innings of work. In addition, the Houston native struck out a career-best eight batters to win his fourth straight game.
Memphis starter Matt Krabbe dropped to 1-4 after allowing six hits and six runs in only 2.0 innings.
Brett Cooley, Thanos Papavasiliou and Jesse Crain - the heart of the Cougar lineup Saturday - did most of the damage for UH, batting a combined 7-for-12 with eight runs, six RBIs, three doubles and two home runs.
Cooley went 3-for-5 with three runs, a home run and an RBI, while Crain batted 2-for-4 with three runs, a home run and a game-high three RBIs. Papavasiliou batted 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Sam Mitchell also went 2-for-3 with a run and RBI and blasted his first home run of the year in the second inning.
Brent Dlugach, Barrett Smith and Josh Payne each rapped out two hits for Memphis. Memphis grabbed an early lead in the first inning on Smith's single to center field. However, the lead would be short-lived as the Cougars struck for four runs in the bottom of the inning.
Michael Bourn led off with a single through the right side and moved into scoring position on his team-leading 17th stolen base of the season. Keith Whatley then plated Bourn with a double in the left center gap. After Papavasiliou walked, Crain blasted a three-run home run to left field for a 4-0 UH lead.
One inning later, Mitchell blasted an 0-2 offering from Krabbe over the left field fence for his first home run of the year and a 5-1 Cougar lead.
In the third inning, UH scored four more runs, thanks to Papavasiliou's RBI-single and a Memphis error in the infield that allowed three runs to score.
The Tigers scored two runs in the sixth inning on Payne's RBI-double and a Cougar wild pitch. Cooley responded in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run off Memphis reliever Nick Steht for his team-leading ninth homer of the year.
Cole Bruce led off the Houston seventh inning with a double in the left center gap and moved to third base after Hyung Cho's deep fly ball to center field. Pinch-hitter Gabe Lucas then plated Bruce with a sacrifice fly to center field.
UH added four more runs in the eighth inning on two wild pitches, Papavasiliou's RBI-single and an RBI-infield groundout by Cho for the final margin of victory.