April 24, 2005
HOUSTON - Junior righthander Kevin Roberts set the tone early, allowing only three hits with six strikeouts in six shutout innings, to help lead the University of Houston baseball team to a 3-2 win over USF in the rubber match of a Conference USA series on Sunday at Cougar Field.
In addition to his pitching prowess, Roberts helped his own cause at the plate by batting 2-for-3 with a run and RBI and scored a much-needed insurance run for the Cougars in the seventh inning after starting a two-out rally with a single up the middle and then stealing second base to move into scoring position.
With the win, Roberts improved to 4-3 this season and dropped his ERA to 4.06.
Reliever Justin Vaclavik earned his team-leading sixth save by limiting the Bulls to only two hits with four strikeouts over the final 1.2 shutout innings.
The Cougar offense erupted for 12 hits with four different players rapping out two hits apiece. Junior outfielder Travis Tully went 2-for-4 with a run, while sophomore shortstop Dustin Kingsbury batted 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 12 straight games. Sophomore infielder Brad Lincoln went 2-for-4 with a double and RBIs to pace the Cougars.
The win also was a personal milestone for head coach Rayner Noble who became the winningest coach in school history with 379 career victories, breaking out of a tie with former head coach Rolan Walton (1975-86).
USF starter Blake Tillett dropped to 3-2 after giving up two runs off three hits in one inning.
USF catcher Brian Baisley went 3-for-4, while Joey Angelberger added a team-high two RBIs in the losing effort.
The Cougars return to action at 7 p.m., Tuesday, as they meet crosstown rival Rice in Game Four of the annual Sterling Bank Silver Glove Series at Reckling Park. The Owls already have won the Silver Glove Series for the fifth consecutive win after winning each of the first three games of the 2005 Series.
Tuesday's game can be heard live on KLVL 1480 AM or on the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with former UH letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action.
The Cougars struck for the game's first run in their first at bat. Bryan Tully, Travis Tully and Kingsbury led off the inning with three straight hits with the latter two not leaving the infield. Roberts then drew a walk to force Bryan Tully home for the game's first run.
Lincoln then hit into a double play but Travis Tully scored from third base for a 2-0 Cougar lead.
The score remained that way until the seventh inning when the Cougars used a two-out rally to score an insurance run. Roberts slapped a single up the middle and moved into scoring position by stealing second base. Lincoln ripped a sharp single into left field to plate Roberts and give UH a 3-0 lead.
USF cut into that lead in the seventh inning when Joey Angelberger's two-run homer to left field cut the Cougar advantage to a single run. The Bulls continued to threaten in that inning and rapped out three straight base hits to loaded the bases with only one out.
However, Vaclavik struck out Jeremy Brand and Brandin Daniel to end the rally and then retired the USF side in order in the ninth inning to pick up the save.