April 26, 2006
HOUSTON - University of Houston senior southpaw Matt Farrington limited Sam Houston State to two earned runs and struck out six in 7.1 innings of work to lead the 13th-ranked Cougars to a 4-3 win over the Bearkats on Wednesday night at Cougar Field in a non-conference game.
The Cougars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and did not allow a SHSU mark on the scoreboard until the fourth inning. UH appeared to grab control of the game in the seventh inning with two runs but saw the Bearkats put two runs of their own on the board in the next half-inning. However, that would be as close as SHSU would get the rest of the way.
Farrington, who improved to 4-4 with the win, faced the minimum through the first three innings and allowed only one run through the first seven innings of work.
With runners on first and second and no outs in the top of the ninth inning, junior righthander Shea Hancock struck out the first two batters he faced and then induced a fly ball to left field to end the threat and the game and record the first save of his career.
Junior outfielder Jake Stewart went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs to lead the Cougar, offense which recorded nine hits in the game, snapping a streak of eight straight games with double-digit hits.
SHSU starter Zach Duncan allowed two runs off five hits with two strikeouts in 4.2 innings to collect the loss and fall to 0-3 this season.
Outfielder Dustin Martin went 3-for-4 with a run, while infielder Karl Krailo added a team-high two RBIs in the losing effort.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 29-15 overall and won for the 17th time in their last 21 games. The Cougars also equaled their win total from the entire 2005 season. Sam Houston State dropped to 22-21 overall.
The Cougars return to action this weekend when they meet UAB in a three-game, Conference USA series in Birmingham, Ala., That series begins at 7 p.m., Friday, continues at 2 p.m., Saturday and wraps up at 11 a.m., Sunday, at Young Memorial Field.
All three games 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 with two in the first inning. Stewart drew a four-pitch walk and moved to second base after Isa Garcia was hit by a pitch. After a wild pitch moved both runners up another base, Brad Lincoln lifted a sacrifice fly to the wall to score Stewart. Matt Weston then lined an RBI-single up the middle past a drawn-in SHSU infield for a 2-0 UH lead.
The score remained that way until the fourth inning when Krailo's sacrifice fly to center filed plated Clint Mann.
The Cougars pushed their lead to three runs in the seventh inning thanks to two runs off two hits. Stewart led off with a sharp single up the middle and moved all the way to third base following a balk and wild pitch. Garcia then lifted a sacrifice fly into right field. Lincoln followed with a walk and moved up a base on Chris Joseph's single through the left side.
Two wild pitches moved both runners up, allowing Lincoln to score from third base and handing the Cougars a 4-1 advantage.
The Bearkats pulled to within a run again in the eighth inning with two runs, courtesy of Krailo's RBI-double to right field and Matt Fry's sacrifice fly to left field.