April 20, 2007
METAIRIE, La. - Junior righthander Aaron Brown held No. 23 Tulane to only five runs in seven shutout innings to help lead the University of Houston baseball team to a 7-0 win over the Green Wave on Friday afternoon in the opener of a Conference USA series at Zephyr Field.
Brown, who won for the fourth time in his last five decisions, tied his season high with seven strikeouts and improved to 6-2 after picking up the win. Although the League City allowed at least one baserunner in all but one inning, he took advantage of some timely pitching and mistake-free Cougar defense to pick up the team's fourth shutout of the 2007 campaign. Only one Tulane baserunner reached third base in the game, and that came in the seventh inning after the Cougars already had built a 4-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the Cougar offense used two-out rallies throughout the game to win for the fourth time in the last five games against the Green Wave. Six of the Cougars' seven runners who eventually scored reached after two outs were recorded in an inning, while all seven RBIs were posted with two outs. The Cougars scored their first run in the first inning and kept the Green Wave in check until taking control with three runs in the sixth inning.
Sophomore outfielder Jimmy Cesario went 2-for-3 with a run, double and RBI to extend his career- and UH-season-best hitting streak to 15 consecutive games. Cesario's streak, which tied as the 12th-longest in school history, was the longest since former catcher Rob Johnson hit safely in the final 17 games of the 2004 season.
Freshman centerfielder Zak Presley batted 3-for-4 with a run, while sophomore outfielder Bryan Tully went 2-for-5 with a run, double and two RBIs. Junior infielder Ryan Lormand went 2-for-4 with a run, stolen base and two RBIs, while senior first baseman Josh Stirneman went 2-for-4 with a run and RBIs. Junior infielder Bryan Pounds bated 2-for-4 with a run to lead the Cougars, who outhit the Green Wave 15-5.
Tulane starter Sean Morgan picked up the loss and fell to 7-3 after giving up four runs off 11 hits and two walks with four strikeouts in seven innings.
Green Wave shortstop Cat Everett went 2-for-3 to lead the Tulane offense.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 20-17 overall and 7-3 in C-USA games, while Tulane fell to 28-12, 8-5 in C-USA games.
The series continues at 6:30 p.m., Saturday at Zephyr Field. Fans should note that the starting time for Saturday's games was recently moved up to avoid conflicts with the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets.
Fans can hear Cougar Baseball games live on UHCougars.com with former Cougar letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans can follow live stats by clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the front page of UHCougars.com or on the Schedule and Results page off the Baseball main page.
Fans always can follow live stats by clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the front page of UHCougars.com or on the "Schedule and Results" page off the Baseball main page.
Redshirt freshman southpaw Wes Musick will make his 10th start of the season Saturday during the middle game of the Rice series. This season, the Lufkin native has posted a 5-3 record with 44 strikeouts and a 3.16 ERA in 51.1 innings of work.
In addition, Musick enters this weekend's series on a career-best three-game winning streak. He has not collected a loss since dropping an 8-2 decision to Northwestern State on March 3 in the middle game of that non-conference series.
He leads all Cougar pitchers in wins, ERA, strikeouts and opponents' batting average (.234) and is one of only five players in C-USA to rank among the Top Eight individual leaders in all pitching Triple Crown categories.
In his last start, Musick collected the win during the middle game of the UAB series on April 7 at Cougar Field, limiting the Blazers to three runs (two earned) off five hits and three walks with six strikeouts in five innings.
Saturday's game will be Musick's first career appearance against the Green Wave.
Tulane will counter with sophomore righthander Shooter Hunt. A transfer from Virginia, Hunt has posted a 6-4 record with 63 strikeouts and a 2.18 ERA in 62.0 innings.
The Cougars scored the game's first run in the first inning, thanks to a two-out rally. Cesario started the rally with a bunt-single down the third-base line and moved into scoring position after Dustin Kingsbury was plunked by a pitch. Josh Stirneman then slapped a single through the right side of the infield to plate Cesario for a 1-0 Cougar lead.
The score remained that way until the sixth inning when the Cougars used another two-out rally to put three ones across. Bryan Pounds started this rally with a single up the middle and moved to third following Presley's single into center field. Ryan Lormand then slapped an RBI-single into right field to score Pounds, while Presley raced to third base.
Felix Fanaselle laced an RBI-single through the right side to score Presley and Cesario smashed an RBI-double down the right-field line to score Lormand and hand the Cougars a 4-0 advantage.
In the eighth inning, the Cougars pushed their lead to 5-0. Bryan Tully led off with a single to right center and moved into scoring position following Presley's bunt. Two batters later, Lormand ripped an RBI-single into left center to score Tully.
The Cougars scored the final two runs of the game in the ninth inning. Stirneman was hit by a two-out pitch and moved to third when Luis Flores smashed a double down the left-field line. Tully then lined a single up the middle to plate both runners for the final margin of victory.