April 13, 2010
San Antonio, Texas - Austin Gracey tied a UH single-game record with three home runs to guide the University of Houston baseball team to a 14-8 win over UTSA Tuesday night at Roadrunner Field.
Gracey moved into a four-way tie with Mark Grimes, J.P. Woodward and Jake Stewart, for the single-game home run record. Stewart was the last player to hit three home runs against UAB on April 18, 2008. Gracey finished the game 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a career-high seven RBIs.
Houston improves to 14-17 with the win.
After a scoreless first inning, Gracey put the Cougars on top with a three-run home run in the second inning. Zak Presley and Matt Creel both scored on the home run after reaching base on back-to-back walks. Dakota Dill continued the inning with a single through the middle and scored on Blake Kelso's double to left field. Caleb Ramsey recorded Houston's fifth hit of the inning, a double to right center that plated Kelso, giving UH the 6-0 lead.
Gracey hit his second home run of the night to left field, in the third inning, extending the Cougars lead to seven, 7-0. The long ball came with two outs in the inning.
UTSA loaded the bases in the fourth inning and scored three runs off Lance Brown's double through the right side of the field and Ryan Dalton followed that up with a home run over left field, cutting the Cougar lead to two, 7-5.
M.P. Cokinos led off the fifth inning with a double to right field and Matt Creel singled to right field to put two runners on base, bringing Gracey to the plate. Gracey hit his third home run of the game over left field and pushed the Houston lead to five, 10-5.
Ryan Hutson led off the fifth inning with a home run for the Roadrunners and they added a second run off Jeff Taliaferro's RBI single through the middle.
Kelso lead-off double to centerfield to open the sixth inning and scored on Ramsey's RBI single up the middle. Cokinos followed that up with a single to right field, putting two runners on base with one out. Ramsey loaded the bases on an error by the UTSA first baseman but Creel flied out to first base and Gracey grounded out to the shortstop to end the inning.
Both teams went scoreless in the seventh inning before Joel Ansley reached base on an error by the Roadrunner shortstop in the eighth and moved to second on Ramsey's sacrifice bunt to the pitcher. He would go on to score after Cokinos singled to right field. Presley added another single and the duo scored on Matt Creel's single through the left side.
UTSA plated a single run in the ninth inning to close out the game.
Mo Wiley earned the win Tuesday to improve to 3-2. He went three innings, surrendering five hits with five runs and three strikeouts. William Kankel contributed an inning of relief, allowing two runs on three hits. Ty Stuckey pitched three innings of scoreless relief. He gave up just two hits and tied a career-high with six strikeouts. Chase Dempsay pitched an inning of relief, striking out the side in the eighth and Matt Creel pitched the ninth, allowing one run with two strikeouts.
The Cougar pitching staff struck out 11 of the final 18 UTSA batters of the game and struck out at least two batters in the final five innings.
Houston will return to Cougar Field to face C-USA opponent Memphis, April 16-18. Friday and Saturday's games start at 6:30 p.m., with the Sunday finale scheduled to start at 1 p.m. As part of this weekend's festivities, all tickets for Saturday's game will be $3 to "Fill the Field" Night. Tickets can be purchased prior to the game at the Houston Ticket Office or at the gate on game day.
Starting at 5 p.m. Friday, students and young alumni can stop by the Alumni Connection Grill on the Hill for hot dogs and hamburgers. To register for the event, log on to www.mycougarconnection.com/grill.