April 17, 2004
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Making his first career start, righthander Kevin Roberts held Saint Louis to only two runs in six innings to help lead the University of Houston baseball team to a 7-3 win over the Billikens on Saturday at the Billikens Sports Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Roberts, who has been a regular in the Cougar lineup in the infield and as the DH, improved to 3-3 and struck out a career-high six batters for his first-ever Conference USA win.
While Roberts was taking care of business on the mound, the Cougar offense exploded for a season-best 16 hits with four players recording at least three hits. Cole Bruce went 4-for-5 with a run, double and RBI to lead the way and tie his personal single-game best in hits.
Travis Tully, Rob Johnson and Nick Bott each went 3-for-5 and scored at least one run in the win. Brett Cooley went 1-for-2 and blasted a monster home run in the third inning to break an early tie. Stuart Musslewhite went 1-for-5 with an RBI and extended his hitting streak to a UH season- and career-best 10 straight games in his final at bat in the ninth inning.
SLU starter Tim Landy dropped to 0-5 after giving up four runs off 12 hits with three strikeouts in six innings of work.
Pat Steinhoff batted 2-for-3 with an RBI and Jon Greenwich went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI to lead Saint Louis, which managed only eight hits in the loss.
The Cougars (14-21) wrap up the series at noon, Saturday. Saint Louis is slated to throw righthander Ryan Bird (1-3, 4.24), while UH head coach Rayner Noble has not announced his starter in the rubber match.
The game can be heard live on 88.3 FM KAXF or over the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling the action. Fans also can follow the action through live stats by clicking on the Gametracker at the bottom of the main page at www.UHCougars.com.
The Cougars struck for the game's first run in their first at-bat. After a one-out single by Johnson, Cooley was plunked by a Landy offering. Bruce then laced an infield single to shortstop. Two batters later, Bott smashed an RBI-single up the middle to plate Johnson and give the Cougars an early advantage.
Saint Louis cut that deficit in half in the bottom of the inning when Steinhoff's sacrifice fly to center field plated Bill Musselman, who led off with a double to left field.
The score remained that way until the seventh inning when UH struck for two more runs off three hits. Tully led off with a single up the middle and came all the way around to score on Rob Johnson's double in the right center gap. After moving up a base on a groundout, Johnson scored on Bruce's RBI-single through the left side of the SLU infield.
However, the Billikens scored two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to pull to within a run. Greenwich plated Kyle Wort with a double to right center and scored himself when pinch hitter Neil Graser followed with a double to left field.
In the top of the eighth, the Cougars took advantage of two hits and a pair of errors to give themselves a cushion. After Bott led off with a single to left field, he moved all the way to third on Brett Logan's infield single and a SLU infield error. Thanos Papavasiliou lifted a sacrifice fly into center field to score Bott and move Logan to third base.
Tully followed with a ground ball that was misplayed in the infield, allowing Logan to score and give the Cougars a 6-3 lead.