April 27, 2004
HOUSTON - The University of Houston baseball team took advantage of the long ball on the way to a 10-5 win over Sam Houston State on Tuesday at Cougar Field.
The Cougars exploded for a season-high four home runs, including back-to-back shots in the six-run, second inning. Stuart Musslewhite, Kevin Roberts, Nick Bott and Brett Logan each blasted homers in the winning effort with Roberts smashing a tater for the fourth time in the last five games.
Travis Tully went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and extended his hitting streak to a career-best 11 straight games. Bott batted 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs, and Rob Johnson went 2-for-5. Meanwhile, Thanos Papavasiliou and Musslewhite added a team-high two RBIs in the winning effort.
While the Cougar bats posted double-digit hits for the sixth time in the last seven games, UH also received a solid pitching effort from starter Matt Farrington. The Sugar Land, Texas, native struck out three and held the Bearkats to only three runs off two hits in a career-best six innings of work.
With the win, the Cougars recorded their seventh consecutive victory and pulled to within a game of the .500 mark at 21-22 overall. Sam Houston State dropped to 14-24-1.
SHSU starter Ryan Rafferty dropped to 3-6 after giving up five runs off four hits in only one inning.
Jonathan Stone went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs and provided a highlight for the Bearkats in the fourth inning with a three-run homer.
The Cougars continue their Conference USA schedule when they meet No. 7 East Carolina in a three-game series at Greenville, N.C. That series begins at 6 p.m. (CDT), Friday before wrapping up with noon (CDT) games on both Saturday and Sunday. All three games can be heard live on 88.3 KAXF FM or over the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling the action.
Fans also can follow the action through live stats by clicking on the Gametracker at the bottom of the main page at www.UHCougars.com.
The Cougars grabbed the first lead of the game in the second inning, thanks to the long ball. After Cole Bruce led off with a single to right field, Stuart Musslewhite blasted a 1-1 offering from Rafferty over the left field wall.
Kevin Roberts followed with a walk and moved to second on a balk before jogging home on Nick Bott's homer to left field. Brett Logan followed with a solo shot to left field. Bott and Logan became the first players since Brett Cooley and Chris Snyder against Tulane at the Conference USA Tournament on May 25, 2002 to hit back-to-back home runs in a game.
The rally continued when Matt Farrington walked and moved to second on Travis Tully's single to center field. After an infield single by Rob Johnson loaded the bases, Thanos Papavasiliou grounded into a double play but not before Farrington gave the Cougars a 6-0 lead.
One inning later, Roberts led off with solo shot to left field.
In the fourth inning, SHSU's Jonathan Stone cut into the lead with a three-run homer down the left field line that many Cougar fans thought went just foul.
The Cougars pushed their lead to 9-3 in the sixth. After Farrington was hit by a pitch and Tully drew a one-out walk, Papavasiliou laced a triple down the right field line to plate both runners.
In the eighth inning, Tully and Farrington slapped back-to-back one-out singles with Tully taking advantage of an SHSU error and wild pitch to score the Cougars' final run of the evening.
SHSU cut into that lead during their final at bat with a pair of runs on Jeremy Aranda's pinch-hit, RBI-single and an RBI double from Matt Emerson, but that would be as close as it would get the rest of the night.