April 15, 2014
No. 12 HOUSTON
HUNTSVILLE, Texas – No. 12 Houston Baseball scored all five runs with two outs and came away with a solid 5-2 road win at Sam Houston State on Tuesday evening in non-conference action, snapping its three-game skid.
The Cougars improved to 27-9 overall, 8-1 in midweek action, and 7-2 on the road this season with the win, while Sam Houston State fell to 25-12.
Houston tallied nine hits and was sparked by the offensive effort of sophomore Josh Vidales – who drove in two runs on a hit and RBI-groundout, while senior Daniel Smith and freshman Connor Hollis combined for a 4-for-6 effort with an RBI and two runs scored in the eight-nine holes in the Cougar lineup
Making his first collegiate start at shortstop, Hollis finished 2-for-2 with a sacrifice bunt and walk and scored two of Houston’s five runs.
Smith was equally strong in his first start at catcher this season, driving in a key run in the eighth for Houston and finishing 2-for-4 with a double and RBI.
Sophomores Justin Montemayor (1x3, RBI) and Kyle Survance (0x3, RBI, 2 BB) each drove in a run, while junior Michael Pyeatt (1x4, R) and seniors Casey Grayson (1x2, 3 BB) and Jacob Lueneburg (1x5, R) each added a hit.
The Cougars took advantage of two Sam Houston State errors and seven walks to improve to 3-0 on the road during midweek play – which includes wins over Texas A&M, Rice and Sam Houston State.
Houston starter David Longville (4.2,6,2,2,1,2) allowed two runs on six hits and one walk with two strikeouts in 4.2 innings, but left with the no-decision in his seventh start this season.
He was relieved by freshman Andrew Lantrip (2.0,3,0,0,0,3) – who pitched 2.0 scoreless innings out of the pen to improve to 3-0 on the year. The righty allowed three hits and didn’t allow a walk with three strikeouts.
Senior Tyler Ford (2.0,0,0,0,0,2) struck out two in 2.0 innings to earn his second save of the year.
Senior Aaron Stewart (0.1,0,0,0,0,1) faced one hitter and fanned the batter out of the pen in relief of Lantrip before handing the ball over to Ford.
After having its leadoff hitter reach base in three of the first four innings, the Cougars finally were able to manufacture a run after Pyeatt singled, moved to second on a Grayson walk and took third on a sacrifice bunt by Fulmer and an RBI-groundout by Montemayor to put Houston up 1-0 in the fourth.
The Cougars added to their lead with another run in the fifth following a one-out single by Hollis, a seven-pitch walk by Survance and a balk to put runners at second and third – allowing Vidales to plate Hollis on Houston’s second RBI-groundout of the game.
Sam Houston State put together a two-run fifth to tie the game following three, two-out hits.
Vidales came up big in the seventh with a two-out single up the middle – putting Houston up 3-2, scoring Hollis – who kept the inning alive with a one-out single into right field and moved up a base on a fielder’s choice.
Stewart takes over for Lantrip in the bottom of the seventh and strikes out the final hitter, stranding runners at first and second and Houston up by one (3-2).
The Cougars took advantage of a few late Sam Houston State errors to go up 4-2 when Smith laced a double down the left field line, scoring Stading – who reached on an error. The double should have plated Lueneburg from first, but got caught in the left field line wall padding – forcing the ground-rule double.
Survance would follow with a bases-loaded walk to continue the top of the eighth to give the Cougars a three-run lead at 5-2.
Sam Houston State reliever Seth Holbert (1.1,2,1,1,0,1) suffered the loss, falling to 1-1 on the year.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
"A big win for us tonight. There were new faces to the lineup that played really well tonight. (Connor) Hollis and (Daniel) Smith we got in there with their backs against the wall a little bit with (Caleb) Barker and (Frankie) Ratcliff being hurt. Those guys stepped up big tonight. They were co-MVP's for me tonight. (Josh) Vidales did a good job tonight with a couple of RBI's."
"We did a better job of just playing baseball. (Justin) Montemayor executed what we call a team at-bat. Ground ball to get a guy in, then Vidales does the same the next inning. Pitching staff was lights out. They didn't give in, and they threw strikes. Tip your hat to the pitchers they kept us in the game, and gave us a chance to win."
On tonight's win
"I had a lot of fun out there tonight, and I'm glad we won. It was a great team effort all around, and being able to score a couple runs was big. Ultimately though it's about the team effort I'm just trying to do my part by being the 1/9th."
"I got an opportunity to play today, and I wanted to go out there help give the team a chance to win, and do everything I could to help the team. I was able to get a base hit in my first at-bat, which really helped calm my nerves. We pitched well today, and that made it easy for me behind the plate. The extra knock at the end that scored a run was big for me. I really enjoyed that moment.”
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The Cougars return to Cougar Field for a three-game American Athletic Conference series vs. USF, beginning Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The series will continue on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and wrap up on Saturday at Noon. NOTE: Series begins on Thursday.
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