April 13, 2013
HOUSTON - Senior starter Austin Pruitt was stellar once again, tossing his second complete game shutout, helping Houston Baseball to a 4-0 win over Seton Hall for its 25th victory this season Saturday evening to even the series with the Pirates.
Win: Austin Pruitt (7-2)
Loss: Jose Lopez (0-3)
NUMBERS OF NOTE
0 Senior Austin Pruitt didn't allow a walk in his 9.0-inning complete game shutout win. This marks the second time this season the righty has went the distance without surrendering a free base. 3 Austin Pruitt threw his third complete game this year in a 9.0-inning shutout win over Seton Hall. 12 Austin Pruitt fanned 12 Pirates, one shy of his career-best 13, which came in a win over East Carolina.
The Cougars improved to 25-10 this year and 16-4 at home, while Seton Hall fell to 17-15.
Pruitt (9.0,6,0,0,0,12) was absolutely dominant in his ninth start of 2013 as the right-hander went the distance for the third time this year and fourth time in his career. Pruitt fanned 12, one shy of his career-best of 13, which came in a win over East Carolina back on March 23.
Going the distance was impressive, but even better was the fact that the senior didn't allow a walk and scattered just six hits - five of which were singles on 142 pitches, a career-high. With that win, Pruitt improved to 7-2 and lowered his ERA to 1.99 in nine appearances and 68.0 innings.
The shutout was the fourth of the season for Houston.
Despite being out hit, three of Houston's five hits came with runners in scoring position as the Cougars collected four RBI. Sophomore Michael Pyeatt (1x3, 2 RBI) drove in two runs on a single up the middle, while juniors Jonathan Davis (1x3, R, RBI) and Frankie Ratcliff (1x4, RBI) each plated runs on doubles.
Adding to the hit column was freshman Kyle Survance (1x3) and junior Caleb Barker (1x3, R).
Houston took advantage of four walks and three hit by pitches in the win - manufacturing a three-run sixth that put the game out of reach for Seton Hall.
Ratcliff's double off the right center wall, scoring freshman Josh Vidales, who opened the frame with his 27th walk this season. Survance moved Vidales up a base on a sacrifice bunt before Houston took a 1-0 lead.
During the opening three frames, Pruitt worked three scoreless innings as Seton Hall managed to have a hitter reach in each of the innings - including a one-out double in the third - but three strikeouts to end each inning allowed the Cougars to hold their early 1-0 lead.
Pirate starter Jose Lopez (5.2,2,4,4,3,4) kept Houston hitters at bay and without a hit for four straight innings after plating a run in the first. Pruitt, however, matched his success, retiring nine of his next 10 hitters he faced during the middle innings to help Houston hang out to its one-run lead.
Houston threatened in the sixth when Davis drove a 1-0 pitch down the left field line that hit off the third base bag for a stand up RBI-double, driving in Barker - who reached on a drop third strike call. Up 2-0 and facing a new pitcher, Pyeatt laced a single up the middle, scoring freshman Justin Montemayor and Davis to put Houston up 4-0.
That would be all the run support Pruitt needed as he went on to retire eight of his last nine, which included four strikeouts - two to end the game as he was well over 100 pitches.
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Todd Whitting
Thoughts on the game
"Last night we didn't play very well. We've been in a stretch where we haven't played very good baseball. I feel like we want to win the game, but we don't have the will to win the game. Tonight reminded me of the team I saw a couple weeks ago. Tonight we played hard and we played to win. Austin Pruitt was outstanding tonight throwing a complete game shutout. This team really needed him to come out and throw a doughnut here to let us get going on offense. I'm really proud of the effort and energy tonight. We are tough to beat when we get going like that."
SENIOR Austin Pruitt
On his outing tonight
"I had a lot of fun out there tonight. They came out and stomped us last night so I really wanted to give us a good chance to win this game. Everything felt like it was working for me today. I was really in a zone, and it was fun being on the mound tonight."
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Houston and Seton Hall will wrap up the three-game series on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. at Cougar Field.