Baseball Rallies for 3-2 Win over Memphis in Series Opener
April 21, 2006
HOUSTON - Junior outfielder Jake Stewart's RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the 19th-ranked University of Houston baseball team to a 3-2 win over Memphis on Friday in the opener of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
Trailing 2-0 after four-and-a-half innings, the Cougars rallied to tie the game with two runs in the fifth inning. The score remained that way until the ninth inning. Senior outfielder Matt Weston was hit by a pitch to lead off and moved to second base when sophomore outfielder Bryan Tully lined a single into left field.
After both runners moved up on Luis Flores' sacrifice bunt, pinch hitter Matt Farrington drew an intentional walk to load the bases. Stewart then lined a 1-0 pitch from Memphis reliever Drew Jaudon into left center to score Weston and hand the Cougars their 14th win in their last 17 games.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 26-15 overall, 10-3 in C-USA and remained two games behind league leader Rice, which was a 12-3 winner against Southern Miss on Friday night. Memphis fell to 21-19 overall, 6-7 C-USA.
Stewart finished the night 2-for-5 with a run and RBI to lead a Cougar offense that outhits Memphis 10-6. Senior infielder Isa Garcia went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Tully batted 2-for-4.
Junior closer Clayton Boone picked up his third straight win after pitching a perfect ninth inning and improved to 3-1 this season.
Junior starter Brad Lincoln did not pick up the decision despite allowing only two runs off six hits with 11 strikeouts in eight innings of work. It was his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the 2006 and marked the 11th time in 12 starts that he recorded at least seven strikeouts.
Memphis starter Philip Utley collected the loss and fell to 3-3 after giving up three runs off eight hits with eight strikeouts in eight innings.
Memphis DH Joey Lieberman batted 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Tigers.
The Cougars continue the series at 7 p.m., Saturday, before wrapping it up at 1 p.m., Sunday at Cougar Field. Both games can be heard live over the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with former UH letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans also can follow play-by-play action by clicking on the "Live Stats" link on the schedule at www.UHCougars.com.
On Saturday, all fans are encouraged to wear red to the ballpark as part of Red Alert Night.
Fans also should prepare for a busy day on the UH campus. In addition to the Cougars' 7 p.m., contest against Memphis, the Houston Dynamo will host a home soccer match at 7:30 p.m. at UH's own Robertson Stadium.
Due to the anticipated high attendance and need for parking at both events, the Athletics Department has designated parking lots 16C and 16D (directly across Cullen Blvd., beyond the right-field and centerfield fence of Cougar Field on both sides of Elgin St., lots 15A and 15 G (directly south and east of the Athletics/Alumni Center) and lot 15H (directly west of the John Hoff Tennis Courts off Elgin St.) for baseball fans.
These lots will be available at no charge for attendees of the baseball game.
The University of Houston Athletics Department would like to request that all fans planning to attend Saturday's game adjust their arrival time to well in advance of the start as traffic flow may be slower than usual.
While adequate parking has been made available for baseball fans, late-arriving fans may be forced to pay for parking in lots that have not been reserved for baseball attendance.
The Tigers struck for the game's first run in the second inning when Adam Amar and Joey Lieberman led off with back-to-back doubles.
Memphis pushed its lead to 2-0 in the third inning when Kyle Norrid's groundout allowed Peterson to score from third base.
The Cougars put their first marks on the scoreboard in the fifth inning with two runs off four hits. Travis Cougot reached on a two-out single up the middle and moved to third base on Stewart's single to left field. Garcia then trimmed the deficit to 2-1 with a single up the middle that moved Stewart to second base. Lincoln lined a single through the right side to score Stewart and tie the game at 2-2.