April 19, 2014
No. 12 HOUSTON
HOUSTON - Playing from behind in as late as the eighth inning, No. 12 Houston Baseball was able to overcome a late deficit and come-from-behind to earn a 5-3 win over USF on Saturday afternoon in American Athletic Conference play at Cougar Field.
The win lifted the Cougars overall record to 29-10 and its conference mark back to 6-6, while the Bulls fells to 22-17 and 8-7. The series win marked the seventh series victory for the Cougars this season and third in league action.
It was a three-run eighth inning - which was highlighted by one hit, four walks and two errors - that proved to be the game changer for the Cougars. Appearing in his first at-bat of the game, senior pinch hitter Jacob Lueneburg drove a 2-2 pitch into the right field corner and advanced to third on a fielding error to open the eighth inning.
Houston was out hit, 7-6, but it was the manufactured runs and five total walks that gave way to five runs.
Leading the way with another multi-hit game was junior Michael Pyeatt (2x3, RBI) - who drove in a run and had two hits. Stading (1x3, 2 RBI) drove in two on a groundout and walk, while Ratcliff (0x0, BB, RBI) and Survance (0x4, RBI) also picked up an RBI.
Adding to the hit column was senior Casey Grayson (1x3, 2 R, BB) who scored two runs and doubled to extend his reaching base streak to 13 games and hit streak to eight games. Sophomore Justin Montemayor (1x3, R) also added a hit.
Senior Chase Wellbrock (1.2,2,0,0,0,0) pitched 1.2 innings out of the pen and didn't allow a run to notch his third win of the year - improving to 3-0.
Houston starter Jared West (3.0,1,2,2,2,2) struck out two, walked two and allowed just one hit in 3.0 innings but was relieved in the third by senior Tyler Ford (4.1,4,1,1,0,0) who tossed 4.1 effective innings out of the pen to give Houston a chance to score late. Ford allowed one run on four hits without walking a hitter.
Houston grabbed the early lead with a run in the second inning after Montemayor led off the frame with a single down the left field line and took second on a fielding error. A single by Pyeatt put runners at the corners, allowing Stading to tally an RBI on a one-out groundout to shortstop.
West held USF without a hit until the top of the third, but that runner was erased on a force play at second. The Bulls would then take advantage of back-to-back walks and a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt to open the fourth and two hits - including a double to go up 3-1 on the Cougars.
Houston scratched across another run in the fourth to answer USF's three-run inning as Grayson opened in the inning with a leadoff double, moved to third on a wild pitch and later scored on a clutch one-out RBI-single into right field by Pyeatt.
Down by one in the bottom of the eighth, Lueneburg came up big for Houston in his pinch-hit role - driving a double down the right field line and hustling to third on a fielding error by USF's right fielder.
With no outs, Survance grounded out to second base - scoring Lueneburg to tie the game at 3-3. Vidales reached first on a throwing error and Grayson and Pyeatt both were walked - allowing Ratcliff to pinch hit and draw a bases-loaded walk to give the Cougars the lead. Stading followed up right behind him with another bases-loaded bases on balls to give Houston a 5-3 lead heading into the ninth.
USF made it interesting in the ninth with a leadoff double, but freshman Connor Hollis kept a hit in the infield to keep the Bulls from scoring, allowing Wellbrock to induce an game-ending double play.
The Bulls starter Tommy Peterson (7.0,6,3,2,1,4) exited with a win in check, but handed the ball over to two relievers as Janick Serrallong (0.2,0,2,0,2,0) was credited the loss after allowing two unearned runs on two walks in 0.2 innings.
"I'm extremely proud of my team. We're not playing very well right now. We're scuffling a little bit, but sometimes you just have to find ways to win. We found a way today to get it done. We played hard, and the thing about this team is they're going to come out and play everyday. They play all nine innings, and that's what's won a lot of games for us we just have to keep it going."
On coming off the bench getting a leadoff double
"I got down in the count, after taking a couple of good hacks. Coach (Todd Whitting) talked to us about battling at the plate. When you get down on two strikes find a way to get the job done. I was able to do that. It was great to go out there, I'm always locked in ready whenever my name is called. It was big for me to get that hit in that point of the game."
On getting the win today
"It was a big situation, but I'm used to these now with the pressure being on at the end. Defense played outstanding today. Josh (Vidales) and Connor (Hollis) were great up the middle. Timely hitting was big for us (Jacob) Lueneburg came off the bench and gave us a big hit."
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Houston will welcome Sam Houston State on Tuesday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. The contest will be the second of the year between the two programs as the Cougars earned a 5-2 win on the road in Huntsville, Texas last Tuesday evening.
By visiting UHCougars.com, clicking the Tickets link, and then Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page or by clicking here, fans can begin purchasing tickets for single games at Cougar Field this season.
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