April 26, 2002
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Although he didn't post the numbers he has all season, University of Houston pitcher Brad Sullivan had more than enough stuff Friday to help lead the 10th-ranked Cougars to a 7-3 win over Saint Louis in the first game of a Conference USA series at Billiken Sports Center.
Sullivan scattered five hits with only five strikeouts and allowed three runs in tossing his second complete game of the season and recording his eighth straight victory. It was the first time in his last three starts that he did not record double-digit strikeouts.
After giving up three runs off four hits in the game's first three innings, the Nederland, Texas, native settled down to allow only one more hit to the Billikens in the final six innings. In addition, Sullivan retired 19 of the last 22 batters that he faced.
The Cougar offense continued its hot play recently as the team rapped out 10 hits, the fifth straight game that UH has recorded double-digit hits. Michael Bourn, Keith Whatley and Thanos Papavasiliou each rapped out two hits apiece with Papavasiliou adding a game-best two RBIs. Brett Cooley blasted his team-leading 12th home run of the season to extend his hitting streak to a personal-best 14 straight games and has now recorded at least one RBI in his last 11 games.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 31-12 overall and 14-5 in C-USA play. Saint Louis dropped to 15-23 overall, 5-13 C-USA.
The Cougars struck for two runs in their first at-bat. Bourn reached on a bunt single and moved to second base when Placzek's throw to first base was wild. After an infield groundout, Chris Snyder plated Bourn with a single up the middle and came around to score on Papavasiliou's double to left center.
Saint Louis cut the Cougar lead in half in the bottom of the inning on Jim Bredenkoetter's RBI-single.
UH added two more runs to its lead in the third inning on Placzek's second throwing error of the game on a grounder and Papavasiliou's sacrifice fly. However, the Billikens put a two-spot of their own on the scoreboard on Drew Eder's infield groundout and a solo home run from Bredenkoetter.
In the fifth inning, Cooley blasted a 2-2 offering from Placzek over the right field wall to extend the UH lead to 5-3. One inning, UH took a 7-3 lead in the game on an SLU error in the outfield and Keith Whatley's RBI-double to right center.
The series concludes with 1 p.m. games on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's game times was moved up several hours earlier in the week due to school activities on the SLU campus this weekend.