HOUSTON -- No. 25 Houston Baseball used dominant starting pitching and a consistent approach at the plate to earn a Saturday American Athletic Conference sweep over Cincinnati at Cougar Field, winning 4-1 and 13-0 en route to the team's 25th win of the year.
With the two wins, the Cougars are now 25-14 on the year and 6-5 in conference play, while Cincinnati fell to 12-25 and 4-6 in league action.
Houston and Cincinnati will play the series finale at Noon on Sunday.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
0 - Kyle Dowdy tossed his first complete shutout vs. Cincinnati.
1 -- Jacob Campbell belted his first grand slam of his Houston career in the 13-0 win.
2 -- Kyle Survance made a SportsCenter-like web-gem, robbing Cincinnati of a two-run homerun in Game 1.
2 -- Dowdy has now recorded 10+ strikeouts in back-to-back starts.
5 -- Saturday's Game 2 shutout marked the fifth shutout by the Houston staff this season.
8 -- Chris Iriart has hit a homerun in eight of the nine series Houston has played this season.
10 -- Andrew Lantrip struck out 10 in Game 1 -- his second 10+ strikeout game this season.
12 -- Chris Iriart belted his conference-leading 12th homerun in Game 1 of the Saturday DH.
13 -- Kyle Dowdy fanned a career-high 13 hitters en route to his fifth win of the year.
15 -- As a team, Houston drew 15 walks in Game 2 -- program record is 17 -- from 1973.
22 -- Kyle Survance stole two bases, upping his total to 22 -- the most by
25 -- On the day, Houston drew 25 free passes by Cincinnati's pitching (20 walks, 5 HBP).
28 -- Houston has now hit 28 homeruns, the most since 44 in 2010.
Houston rode the arm of sophomore starter Andrew Lantrip (7.2,5,1,1,1,2,10), who fanned 10 in 7.2 innings, allowing just one run on five hits and two walks.
He was relieved by junior Patrick Weigel (1.1,1,0,0,0,0), who would earn the win out of the pen, improving to 4-0, allowing just one run in 1.1 innings of work.
The offense was held silent until junior Chris Iriart broke open the 0-0 stalemate in the sixth inning with his conference-leading 12th homerun of the year. That hit was the first allowed by Cincinnati starter Ryan Atkinson (7.1,3,3,2,3,5), who would later allow three runs, two earned on three hits to suffer the loss.
Up 1-0, the Bearcats tied the game in the top of the eighth following a one-out walk and two-out double that found the left field corner.
The Houston offense didn't let up as it matched Cincinnati's one run and add two more for insurance to go ahead 4-1 in the latter half of the frame. Junior Ashford Fulmer got things going for the Cougars with a leadoff double down the left field line. He was followed up by junior Kyle Survance, who dropped down a bunt single to put runners at the corners. Junior Josh Vidales broke open the tie with a sacrifice fly to center field to make it 2-1.
With two outs, Cincinnati would extend the inning with an error on a ground ball hit by junior Jacob Campbell and as freshman Connor Wong, junior Justin Montemayor and junior Ian Rice all reached on a single and back-to-back bases-loaded walks for the three-run eighth.
GAME 2: Houston 13, Cincinnati 0
The 13-0 shutout win was the fifth shutout of the season for the Cougars and it was highlighted by a brilliant pitching performance from junior Kyle Dowdy.
Dowdy (9.0,0,0,0,0,13) struck out a career-high 13 and didn't issue a walk, while surrendering just two hits in his first complete game shutout of his Houston career. The right-hander retired the first 12 Cincinnati hitters he faced, before allowing a leadoff double in the fifth. That runner was erased on a 94 double play putout. Dowdy finished with the win, facing just one over the game's minimum and improved to 5-1.
The San Diego, Calif. native has struck out 10+ hitters in his last two starts and has allowed just one run in those 16.1 innings pitched, while fanned 23.
Offensively, the Cougars were patient and consistent at the plate, drawing a season-high 15 walks. Those walks accompanied four hit-by-pitches for 19 free passes in the game.
Houston tallied six hits, led by a grand slam off the bat of junior Jacob Campbell -- for his third homerun of the year. Campbell led all hitters in the game, as he went 1-for-2 with one run and six RBI on a grand slam, sacrifice fly, walk and hit-by-pitch.
Joining him with multiple RBI were Vidales, who went 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBI on two walks, while Iriart drove in two and scored a run on two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
Five of Houston's 13 RBI came on bases-loaded free passes.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
"It's a great day for us. When you sweep a day in conference play, that is huge. Cincinnati is a good team, they beat UCF 2-of-3. They beat Memphis 2-of-3, so these were big for us today. We just have to finish off tomorrow. I thought we threw well. Our pitching staff was lights out, [Andrew] Lantrip was good in Game 1 and [Kyle] Dowdy was outstanding in Game 2.
Lantrip was really clean in the game early, but other than the one hit he gave up late, he was flawless. Dowdy was big time today. As a team, when the opportunity hit, we took our walks -- with 15. We didn't get a lot hits, we just took what was given to us, and I thought we did a great job today."
Junior Kyle Dowdy
On the double header sweep
"It is huge to get two wins on a double header in conference. Obviously we need every conference win we can get at this point. We are just taking it one day at a time right now and trying to get 1-0 every single day. Today we got two but we are just trying to battle back and win conference and we are doing everything we can to make it."
On his complete game shutout today
"Today I have to give it up to Ian Rice, he called one heck of a game again. We were just moving the ball around, using a lot of pitches, throwing change-up, slider and fastball. We were pitching guys backwards and doing everything we could to get guys off rhythm. When you face a great team like Cincinnati, especially a premier hitter like Ian Happ, you just know you have to be on your A-game and I thank Ian for that."
Junior Jacob Campbell
On his grand slam
"It feels pretty good, it feels like all the other ones."
On the team's approach as they drew 15 walks in Game 2
"Staying patient, waiting for him to throw one right off the plate so you can get a good swing off of it. Keep having good at bats and keep rolling."
On winning two in a row and a chance for a sweep
"Wining two games on a double header and the way we won the second game brings a lot of energy to us. We've got to carry the energy over tomorrow and get another win."
On the Houston pitching staff today
"Those guys were on. We talk about all the time pounding the strike zone. That's what they did today. They went out today and threw everything for strikes, hats off to them."
The Cougars and Bearcats will wrap up their three-game series with a series finale on Sunday at Noon.
Sunday, April 19 - 1st Annual Bark in the Park at Cougar Field
- First 250 dogs will receive a UH dog bowl
- Kids Day (inflatables, Anthem Buddies, Postgame Run the Bases, Postgame autographs)
Single game tickets for the remaining 9 home games at Cougar Field can be purchased by clicking here: UHCougars.com/Basetickets.
Along with the online option, fans can purchase tickets by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office at TDECU Stadium Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or can call 713-GO-COOGS.
Houston Baseball offers variable pricing on its single-game tickets and group rates.
For the first time ever, the pricing breakdown will be determined whether or not you purchase your single-game tickets online vs. at the gate the day of the game as well as whether the Cougars play on a weekday (Monday-Thursday) or weekend (Friday-Sunday).
Weekday: Monday-Thursday; Weekend: Friday-Sunday.
As noted in the table, variable pricing occurs. For weekday (Tuesday nights) online purchases, fans can take in a game, ranging from $5-$7 depending on the choice of seating. If you choose to purchase the day of the game as a Weekday Walk-Up, you will pay roughly $2 more than the online price ($7-$9).
Weekend (Friday-Sunday) online pricing will range from $6-$8 per game, while Weekend Walk-Up pricing the day of the game will run a fan anywhere from $8-$10.
Group rates are also available (as noted in the table). Weekday (Tuesday) and Weekend (Friday-Sunday) pricing occurs. Groups of 10-24 are set at $4-$5 per person, while groups of 25+ are $3-$4 per person.
HOW TO PURCHASE
To purchase tickets in advance, fans must visit the Athletics Ticket Stadium Office located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1 off Cullen Boulevard. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or you can call 713-GO-COOGS.
JOIN THE DUGOUT CLUB
Nationally-ranked Houston Baseball would like to encourage those wishing to support the efforts and success of the baseball student-athletes to consider joining the Dugout Club for as low as $25 a month or $300 annually.
For a minimum monthly installment of $25 or a minimum one-time gift of $300, supporters can take advantage of the Pinch Hitter level, which will guarantee an invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball team apparel.
For a minimum monthly installment of $100 or a minimum one-time gift of $1,000, supporters can take advantage of the Diamond level, which will guarantee batting practice passes for two to any home game, invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball apparel.
**Cougar Pride points will be applied accordingly.
For more information on joining the Dugout Club, please contact the Houston Baseball office at (713) 743-9396.
For more information regarding Cougar Pride, please call (713) 743-GOUH.
Stay up to date with all Houston Baseball news and highlights by following us on Twitter @UHCougarBB or on Facebook at /HoustonCougarBaseball. Fans can also follow head coach Todd Whitting @toddwhitting on Twitter.