April 22, 2003
SAN MARCOS, Texas - Gabe Lucas went 5-for-5 to tie a school record and added four runs as the University of Houston baseball team took a 7-3 win over Southwest Texas State on Tuesday at Bobcat Field in San Marcos, Texas.
Lucas became the 17th player in school history and the first since Jarrod Bitter accomplished the feat against Cincinnati on April 30, 1999, to rap out five hits in one game. With those numbers, he saw his batting average jump 29 points to its current .305 mark, second best on the team.
Lucas, who has hit safely in each of his last six plate appearances, was part of a Cougar offensive onslaught that pounded out seven runs off 13 hits. Hyung Cho batted 2-for-3 with a run and three RBIs, while Cole Bruce batted 2-for-4 with a run and three RBIs. Leadoff hitter Michael Bourn batted 2-for-5 with a run. Altogether, the top four hitters in the Cougar lineup combined to bat 11-for-17 with six runs and six RBIs.
With the win, the Cougars swept the regular-season series against the Bobcats after taking a 14-6 win in Houston on April 8. UH also tied a season-best with its fifth straight win and improved to 23-18. Southwest Texas State dropped under .500 at 21-22.
UH starter Garrett Mock allowed only three runs off three hits in 5.2 innings and added five strikeouts to collect the win and even his record at 3-3 this season.
Cougar reliever Ryan Wagner recorded his team-leading ninth save of the year after throwing two innings of relief with six strikeouts. With that save, he moved into a tie with Jesse Crain for third place in UH career history with 10 saves. He also moved only one save away from tying Crain's single-season record of 10 saves, set in 2002.
Southwest Texas State starter Paul Schappert dropped to 4-5 after giving up three runs off three hits with five strikeouts.
Southwest Texas State jumped ahead in the second inning with a single run when Mark Cooper's groundout plated Richard Martinez, who led off with a double to right center.
The Cougars grabbed their first lead of the contest in the third inning with a three-spot on the scoreboard. Michael Bourn and Gabe Lucas laced back-to-back singles and both runners scored on Hyung Cho's double into the left center gap. Cole Bruce followed with an RBI-single through the left side of the infield to score Cho.
The Bobcats rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the third on Ignacio Suarez's RBI-double and Cory Covert's sacrifice fly.
UH reclaimed the lead in the fifth inning thanks to a pair of hits. Lucas led off with his third single of the night and moved all the way to third base on Cho's single to right center. From there, Bruce lifted a sacrifice fly into right field to score Lucas and hand the Cougars a 5-3 lead.
The Cougars took control of the game in the seventh inning with two more runs. Lucas started the rally with his fourth straight hit and came around to score on Bruce's double into right center. After Sam Mitchell was hit for the second time in the game, Thanos Papavasiliou slapped an RBI-single through the left side of the infield to score Bruce for a 6-3 UH lead.
In the ninth, Lucas reached on an infield bunt single to tie the school record and advanced an extra base on a Bobcat infield error. After stealing third base, Lucas scored on Cho's sacrifice fly into center field.
The Cougars return to action this weekend as they travel to Tampa to meet Conference USA rival South Florida in a three-game series. The series begins at 6 p.m. (CDT) Friday and continues with noon (CDT) games on both Saturday and Sunday.
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.