April 26, 2003
TAMPA, Fla. - Stuart Musslewhite blasted a two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning to help lead the University of Houston baseball team to a 5-3 win over Conference USA rival South Florida on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader at Red McEwen Field in Tampa, Fla.
The Cougars (24-18, 13-6 C-USA) had held a 3-2 lead entering the ninth inning before South Florida rallied with one run in the bottom of the frame. But in the next half inning, Matt Farrington reached on a one-out double to start the rally. Two batters later, Musslewhite blasted an 0-1 offering -from USF reliever Tim Mattison for his first homer of the year and only the second of his career.
UH reliever Ryan Wagner improved to 2-4 after allowing one run off two hits with three strikeouts in two innings. Mattison dropped to 2-2 after giving up two runs off two hits in one inning.
Junior starter Brad Sullivan tossed a solid game but did not pick up the decision. The Nederland, Texas, native allowed only one hit and two unearned runs with 12 strikeouts in eight innings and did not allow a USF hit until the sixth inning on a close call. With his strikeout total, he boosted his season total to 116, the fourth-highest mark in UH single-season history.
With the win, the Cougars extended their winning streak to a season-best six straight games.
Travis Tully went 2-for-5 with a run to lead the Cougar offense, which outhit USF 8-3.
UH took an early lead in the second inning without the benefit of a hit. Thanos Papavasiliou was hit by a pitch to lead off and moved up when Cole Bruce walked. After both runners moved up a base on Farrington's sacrifice bunt and Gabe Lucas was hit by another pitch to load the bases, Stuart Musslewhite reached on a USF infield error to plate Papavasiliou.
In the third inning, the Cougars doubled their lead off three looping hits. Tully reached on a single up the middle and moved to second on Papavasiliou's looping single into left field. From there, Bruce dropped a bloop single into no-man's land in right field to score Tully for a 2-0 UH lead.
The score remained that way until the sixth inning when USF struck for a pair of unearned runs, thanks to a hit and two UH infield errors. Devin Ivany knotted the game at 2-2 with an infield single that allowed Mike Cunningham to score.
However, the Cougars regained the lead in the next half inning with a run on a two-out rally. After walking and moving to second on a USF infield error, Bourn came around to score on Hyung Cho's RBI-single up the middle.
USF pushed the game into extra innings when Scott Rachlin laced an RBI-single down the left field line to plate Devin Ivany, who reached on a bunt single. That set the stage for Musslewhite's heroics.