April 16, 2013
HOUSTON -- University of Houston Baseball jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and never looked back, earning a 12-2 win over Texas Southern at Cougar Field Tuesday evening in non-conference action.
Win: Aaron Garza (4-2)
Loss: Michael Starkey (0-1)
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NUMBERS OF NOTE
5 Junior Frankie Ratcliff had five runs batted in as part of a 2-for-2 night at the plate and freshman Josh Vidales drew five walks for the Cougars. 10 The Cougars drew 10 walks as a team against Texas Southern. This marks the third time this year Houston has walked 10 or more times in a game. 24 Houston improved to 24-0 all-time against Texas Southern.
The win improved the Cougars' overall record to 26-11, while the Tigers fell to 16-17. The win lifted the all-time Houston record over Texas Southern to a perfect 24-0.
Junior Frankie Ratcliff recorded a career-high five RBI on a three-run double and two-run single to propel the Houston offense to its nine-hit, 10-walk effort. Ratcliff finished the night 2-for-2 with three runs scored and five RBI, along with two walks and a stolen base.
Junior Caleb Barker (2x4, R, 2 RBI) and freshman Kyle Survance (2x4, 2 R) each tallied two hits, while freshmen Jacob Campbell (1x3, 2 RBI) and Justin Montemayor (1x4, R, 2 RBI) each plated two RBI on doubles down the lines.
Junior Landon Appling (1x3, 2 R) added to the hit column, while freshman Josh Vidales (3 R, 5 BB) walked five times - becoming the fifth Cougar in history to record five walks in a single-game - an individual record.
Sophomore Aaron Garza (7.0,5,2,2,2,5) tossed 7.0 complete innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts to improve to 4-2 on the season.
Sophomore Ryan Vruggink (2.0,0,0,0,0,3) pitched an extremely impressive relief effort, tossing the final 2.0 frames with three strikeouts and three groundouts.
Houston loaded the bases with one out in the first on two walks and a single before Montemayor drove a double down the right field line, plating two to put the Cougars up 2-0. Despite a threat, Texas Southern defense was able to escape the inning, stranding bases loaded.
Ratcliff's bases clearing double into left center put Houston up 5-0 after Appling and Survance each singled and Vidales walked. Barker went on to drive in Ratcliff after he moved up a base on a wild pitch for a 6-0 advantage.
The Cougars threatened once again in the fourth, but were again left with runners on after an inning-ending double play. Texas Southern jumped on the board in the fifth with two runs on an RBI-double and RBI-single.
Houston rebounded and went on to plate six runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach. The Cougars were led by a four-hit effort, which included a two-run single by Ratcliff, an RBI-single by Barker and a two-run double by Campbell.
The Cougars faced six Tiger pitchers in the win as starter Michael Starkey (2.0,5,6,6,4,0) was tagged with the loss to fall to 0-1 after surrendering six runs on five hits and four walks.
Houston's 10 walks tonight was the third time this season the Cougars have drawn 10 or more free passes. Vidales' five walks was a career-high, surpassing his four-walk effort in a win over Baylor on March 2 at the College Classic.
HEAD COACH Todd Whitting
Thoughts on the game
"Tonight we had a complete effort from ball club. (Aaron) Garza did a tremendous job of throwing strikes, and going right at hitters. Ryan Vruggink was outstanding tonight. To me that was the biggest positive of the night, him going out and dealing in the 8th and 9th innings. Great team effort and team win tonight. We did a lot of team things great, we had double-digit walks, getting hit by batters with timely hits, and the middle of the order was driving in runs. When you do those things, you're going to win big."
On the win today
"We came out and did a really good job today. We grinded out at bats, despite us starting off slow we got some timely hitting. It's a good win for us to get back rolling."
On the win moving forward
"This win is a good start to the week. We have McNeese tomorrow, and that's where our focus is on. Then we have the weekend series against Rice, which is a big series. Our goal is to come out tomorrow with a lot of focus and energy to come away with the win."
On your pitching performance
"It came down to just competing tonight. I didn't think I had my best stuff tonight, and I was bouncing a lot of pitches, and not hitting my spots. It came down to competing, and having the will to win the game."
On building momentum
"This win propels us moving forward. We have a five game week this week with McNeese tomorrow, and a big series against Rice this weekend. Being able to start the week with a win was huge for us."
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Houston will continue midweek play on Wednesday as it hosts McNeese State at 6:30 p.m. at Cougar Field. The Cougars will continue the homestand this weekend when they welcome Rice for a three-game C-USA series.