April 14, 2002
HOUSTON, Texas - Brett Cooley went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs to lead five players with least two RBIs as the seventh-ranked University of Houston baseball team continued its offensive streak in a 16-6 win over Memphis on Sunday in the finale of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
The Cougars, who extended their winning streak over Memphis to nine straight games, outscored the Tigers 46-10 in the series while batting .416 as a team with 14 doubles and six home runs. UH's 46 runs in the three games against the Tigers set a new school record for most runs in a three-game C-USA series, topping the old mark of 42 set against Memphis in 1999 and South Florida in 1998.
Cooley led the way for the Cougars with his team-leading 10th home run of the year in the fifth inning as all nine UH starters recorded at least one hit in the game. Cole Bruce went 3-for-4 with two runs, a solo homer and three RBIs, while Anthony Scalise batted 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs. Michael Bourn and Hyung Cho each went 2-for-4 with two runs with Jesse Crain going 2-for-5 with a run and three RBIs. Sam Mitchell added two runs and an RBI with Chris Snyder chipping in with three runs and two RBIs in a 1-for-3 effort.
UH reliever Nathan Mitchell tossed 3.1 innings of one-hit ball while scattering a run and three walks with five strikeouts to collect the win and improve to 2-1. Memphis starter Ryan O'Malley dropped to 3-3 after giving up five hits and seven runs in 4.2 innings.
The Cougars (27-10, 11-4) remain atop the C-USA standings in a tie with TCU after Southern Mississippi dropped two of three against Louisville. In addition, UH won its 25th straight C-USA game in the friendly confines of Cougar Field.
Memphis (12-20, 6-9 C-USA) grabbed the lead in the third inning on Ryan Martin's looping RBI-single into shallow left field.
But the Cougars rallied in the bottom of the inning with two runs. Bruce led off the frame with an opposite-field home run over the right field wall - his first of the season - to knot the game at 1-1. Cho then laced a ball to center field, and UH had runners on first and second base when Mitchell's sacrifice attempt was misplayed by O'Malley.
Bourn then laid a sacrifice bunt down to put runners on second and third, and Scalise's double to center field scored Cho for a 2-1 UH lead. After Snyder walked, Cooley plated Mitchell and Scalise with a double to right center. Snyder later scored the Cougars' final run of the inning on an infield groundout for a 5-1 UH lead.
Memphis tied the game at 5-5 in the fifth inning with four runs, thanks to three hits and three UH errors. Andy Gesell highlighted the Tiger inning with a two-run home run, his second of the series.
The Cougars regained the lead for good in the bottom of the inning when Cooley launched a two-run homer - his team-leading 10th of the year - to left center. One inning later, UH put the game out of reach with four runs for an 11-5 lead. Chris Snyder provided the big blow of the inning with a two-run single to cap the scoring.
Memphis added a single run in the eighth inning on Josh Payne's RBI single. In the bottom of the inning, UH put the first five runners on base safely and scored the first run on Scalise's RBI single. Jesse Crain then laced a shot to left field that scored two more runs, and Bruce ended the game early when his RBI single up the middle scored Cooley.
The game was called in the eighth inning after coaches from both teams agreed on a mercy rule, which stopped the game when a team held a 10-run advantage after seven innings of play.
Although the Cougars hit the road in their next game, they won't need to leave the Houston area. UH will face Rice in the fifth and final game of the 2002 Silver Glove Series against No. 3 Rice at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Reckling Park. The Owls won the first three games of the series to claim the Silver Glove, but UH can claim the most recent success after posting a 1-0 shutout on April 2 at Cougar Field.