April 19, 2003
HOUSTON - The University of Houston baseball team received offensive production from the top and the bottom of its lineup Saturday on the way to an 8-5 win over Saint Louis in the second game of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
Bourn batted 2-for-3 with a pair of runs and RBI, while Tully led all players with three RBIs after batting 2-for-4. Stuart Musslewhite continued his hot hitting of late with a 2-for-4 performance with a pair of runs, while Nick Bott went 1-for-1 with two runs and an RBI.
The Cougars (21-18, 11-6 C-USA) jumped out to a 4-0 lead after four innings before watching the Billikens tie the game with four runs in the third inning. However, UH reclaimed the lead in the fourth inning and never looked back in winning its 17th consecutive game against Saint Louis (13-20, 3-14 C-USA).
The series wraps up at 1 p.m., Sunday. UH junior southpaw Brian Henderson (3-2, 1.76) is scheduled to make his first career C-USA start for the Cougars with Saint Louis slated to throw righthander Corey Lawson (2-5, 5.33).
Fans can catch the action at KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com with pregame slated to begin about 15 minutes before the first pitch. Fans can also catch the action batter-by-batter by visiting www.UHcougars.com and clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the Daily Calendar at the bottom of the main page.
UH starter Danny Zell improved to 8-3 after giving up five runs (four earned) off five hits with five strikeouts in six innings of work. It was the 11th time in 12 starts this season that Zell gave the Cougars at least six innings of work.
Cougar reliever Ryan Wagner recorded his team-leading eighth save of the year after striking out six of the seven batters that he faced in 2.1 hitless innings. With that save, he broke out of a tie for second place with Jason Farrow in UH single-season history and moved closer to the record of 10 set by Jesse Crain in 2002. The Yoakum, Texas, native also moved into solo possession of fourth place in school career history with nine saves, breaking away from Nathan Mitchell and Mike Walker.
SLU starter Ben Hutton dropped to 0-7 after giving up seven runs off nine hits with five strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
UH struck for the game's first run in its first at-bat. Bourn led off with a single up the middle, moved to second base following Tully's sacrifice bunt and to third on an infield groundout before scoring on a Billiken two-out, infield error.
The Cougars added three more runs in the second inning. Cole Bruce started the rally with a single to center field and moved to third on Musslewhite's single through the left side of the infield. Bruce scored from third on Bott's safety squeeze before Bourn walked. Tully then plated both runners with a double into the right center gap.
In the third inning, the Billikens knotted the game with four runs, thanks to three hits and a Cougar error. Johnny Sweeny drew a bases-loaded walk for SLU's first run and Corey Lawson provided the big blow with a two-RBI single through the left side of the infield.
UH broke the tie in the fourth inning with a pair of runs. Musslewhite led off with a looping single to center field and moved to second after beating the throw on Bott's sacrifice bunt. Bourn laced a single to right field to score Musslewhite, and Bott came around on Tully's infield groundout for a 6-4 Cougar lead.
SLU pulled to within one in the sixth inning on Ryan Murphy's double down the left field line. However, the Cougars answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame. Bott led off with a single to center field and moved to second base on Bourn's sacrifice bunt. After moving to third on Tully's single, Bott gave the Cougars a two-run cushion when Hyung Cho placed an RBI-single down the right-field line.
In the eighth, UH added its final run of the night. Brett Logan drew a run out walk, stole second and moved to third on an infield groundout before scoring on a balk.
Lawson batted 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs to lead Saint Louis.