April 22, 2012
W: Chase Wellbrock (3-1)
L: Ryan Hopkins (1-2)
|Landon Appling||5||0||2||1||0||0||Michael Pyeatt||4||0||2||0||0||0||Chase Jensen||4||1||2||0||0||1||Price Jacobs||3||1||0||1||0||0|
NUMBERS OF NOTE
5 Houston has now played five consecutive one-run games, dating back to the series finale at Texas Tech. The Cougars are 2-3 in those contests.
6 Houston's top three hitters in Sunday's finale (Appling, Pyeatt, Jensen) all had multi-hit games with two hits apiece to combine for 6 of Houston's 9 hits.
HOUSTON-- The University of Houston baseball team used a gutsy relief performance by sophomore Chase Wellbrock and manufactured all four runs en route to a 4-3 victory over Marshall on Sunday afternoon at Cougar Field. The Cougars clinched the series, 2-1, with the win.
Houston has played its last five games to a one-run result, dating back to the series finale at Texas Tech. In those five games, Houston was 2-3. The win on Sunday improved the Cougars' record to 14-23-1 overall and 3-8-1 in C-USA play. Marshall fell to 14-25 and 2-10 in conference.
"For us to win two one-run ball games and two pretty dramatic wins at home hopefully will be a boost for our ballclub. It's been a while since we won a series, so our team is pretty excited and hopefully this carries over as we move up in the conference standings," said head coach Todd Whitting.
Wellbrock (6.1,6,1,1,1,4) was lights out in his 11th appearance of the season, allowing just one run on six scattered hits through 6.1 innings of work. The right-hander fanned four, while walking just one in the outing. With the win, Wellbrock improved to 3-1 and ties senior Jordan Lewis with a team-high three wins this season.
"Wellbrock was outstanding today. I'm really proud of him. For two years now he has continued to fight and is very coachable. He came out today and kept pitches down and come the ninth inning, I wasn't taking him out. He fought too hard for this," said Whitting on Wellbrock's performance.
Houston connected on nine hits as the Cougars' top three hitters combined for six of the nine. Leading the way at the plate was junior Jacob Lueneburg (1x1, HBP, BB, SAC, SB, 2 RBI) who drove in two runs on one hit and a squeeze bunt.
Sophomore Landon Appling (2x5, RBI), freshman Michael Pyeatt (2x4) and junior Chase Jensen (2x4, R) each had two hits for Houston, while freshman Price Jacobs (0x3, R, RBI) drove in the game-winner on a sacrifice fly to right field.
Houston starter Matt Hernandez (2.2,4,2,0,3,2) lasted 2.2 innings after allowing two runs, both unearned on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts.
Marshall went up 2-0 in the top of the second after an RBI-groundout and RBI-infield single following a Cougar fielding error. Houston didn't take long to respond when they struck for one in the latter half of the inning when Davis walked and stole second before being plated by Lueneburg on a single up the middle for a 2-1 game.
Both teams plated one in the fourth as Houston's came after back-to-back singles from Jensen and Grayson and a suicide squeeze by Lueneburg. Down 3-2, Houston tied the game in the fifth when Jacobs reached first and second both on wild pitches along with an RBI-single by Appling.
Stalled at 3-3 for the next two frames, the Cougars opened the eighth with a leadoff walk by Davis followed by a hit-by-pitch by Lueneburg. With runners at first and second, freshman Cory Kay drilled a shot off the pitcher's leg that took a perfect bounce to second base for a 4-3 putout, but moved the runners up a base. Jacobs then took a 1-0 pitch down the right field foul line, plating Davis for a sacrifice fly and eventually the game-winner.
Wellbrock returned in the ninth inning and shut the Thundering Herd down with a game-ending strikeout.
The series win for Houston was the first series victory since the Cougars went 2-1 on the road at Oklahoma State back on March 16-18. It was also the first C-USA series win this season.
"We kept fighting and fighting. And when you do that, most of the time you are going to win," said Whitting on the key to today's win.
Houston will return to play next weekend at UAB. The Cougars will open play on Friday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. in Birmingham, Ala.