April 22, 2006
HOUSTON - University of Houston sophomore righthander Ricky Hargrove allowed only one unearned run in eight innings and while striking out a career-high-tying eight batters to lead the 19th-ranked Cougars to a 7-1 win over Memphis on Saturday in the middle game of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
Hargrove, who won his third consecutive game, allowed a hit in all but two of the innings he worked but was able to work his way out throughout the night as the Tigers stranded 10 runners on base. The Katy, Texas, native recorded at least one strikeout in all but one inning and did not allow a baserunner beyond second base after the fifth inning.
Meanwhile, the Cougar offense continued its recent torrid pace, pounding out double-digit hits for the seventh straight game. Every Cougar starter reported at least one hit in the game as UH recorded seven extra-base hits, including three home runs.
After jumping out to a 2-1 lead through the first one-and-a-half innings, the Cougars pushed their lead back to two runs with a single run in the second and took control of the game for good with three more runs in the fifth inning.
Junior DH Brad Lincoln finished the night 3-for-5 with a run, double and three RBIs, while senior infielder Isa Garcia batted 3-for-5 with a double and a pair of runs. Junior outfielder Jake Stewart batted 2-for-5 with a run, while junior infielder Dustin Kingsbury batted 3-for-5 with a double. Freshman infielder Travis Cougot also went 2-for-3 in the winning effort.
Memphis starter Stephen Gostkowski collected the loss and fell to 1-4 after surrendering five runs off 11 hits with a pair of strikeouts in four innings.
Infielder Adam Amar went 2-for-4 for the Tigers, who rapped out eight hits in the loss.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 27-15 overall, 11-3 in C-USA, and won for the 15th time in their last 19 games. Memphis dropped to 21-20 overall, 6-8 in C-USA, and picked up its seventh straight loss.
The Cougars look for the series sweep at 1 p.m., Sunday at Cougar Field. That game 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.
The Cougars struck for the game's first runs in the first inning. Stewart and Garcia led off with back-to-back singles and came around to score on Lincon's double down the right-field line.
The Tigers trimmed that lead in half in the next half-inning on Ben Grisham's RBI-single to left field.
In the bottom of the second, Tully smashed a 3-2 offering over the left-field wall to lead off for a 3-1 UH lead.
UH broke the game open in the fifth inning with three runs off five hits. Lincoln led off with a sharp single into center field and scored when Matt Weston blasted a home run down the right-field line. Two batters later, Josh Stirneman launched a solo homer on the second pitch he saw from reliever Dusty Davis over the right-field fence for a 6-1 Cougar lead.
The score remained that way until the eighth inning. Garcia led off with a double to left center and came around to score on Lincoln's RBI-single into right field.