April 29, 2014
No. 13 HOUSTON
LAKE CHARLES, La. - In an unconventional way, No. 13 Houston Baseball picked up two wins on Tuesday over McNeese State when it completed and won its suspended Feb. 25 game, 5-2, and later wrapped up an 8-2 victory at Cowboy Diamond to improve to 33-12 on the year.
The wins improved Houston's midweek record to 10-2 and brought its win total to 33 on the year, while McNeese State fell to 23-21 with the two losses.
HOUSTON 8, MCNEESE STATE 2 | Box Score (PDF)
The Cougars used contributions from both the offense and the pitching staff to come way with another road victory - this time an 8-2 win in Lake Charles, La.
In his first career start, freshman Andrew Lantrip (5.1,3,2,0,0,3) went a career-long 5.1 innings, surpassing his previous long outing of 4.0 innings out of the pen vs. Texas State back of April 8.
The righty allowed just three hits and struck out three without allowing a walk or an earned run. With the win, he improved to 4-0 on the year and earned a win in his first collegiate start.
Replacing Lantrip and throwing well out of the pen was sophomore Jared West (2.0,1,0,0,1,1) - who worked his first outing out of the pen this season - surrendering a single and walk, while striking out one in 2.0 scoreless innings.
Sophomore Bubba Maxwell (1.2,0,0,0,0,5) took over for West in the eighth with one out and a runner on and struck out the next two hitters to escape without any McNeese State damage.
Maxwell was lights out - literally - as the Vidor, Texas native faced five hitters and struck them all out to earn his first save of his Cougar career - after tossing 1.2 hitless innings to close out the game.
Houston racked up a 13-hit night as five Cougars recorded a multi-hit game. Seniors Casey Grayson (3x5, 2 RBI) and Frankie Ratcliff (2x4, 2 R, 2 RBI) along with sophomore Justin Montemayor (2x5, 2 RBI) combined for six of the Cougars' eight RBI - each producing at least two base hits.
Grayson went on to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 18 straight games.
Freshman Connor Hollis (3x3, R) had a career-night with three hits and scoring a run, while senior Caleb Barker (2x4, 2 R) scored two runs and had two hits, including his second triple of the season. Adding a base knock in the win was junior Michael Pyeatt (1x4, RBI) to extend his on-base safely streak to 11 games. Sophomore Kyle Survance drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and scored twice after walking twice.
Houston jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first following an RBI-fielder's choice by Pyeatt, scoring Survance. However, the Cowboys would take advantage of a two-out Houston error to plate two on the next hit - a double into right center.
With McNeese State ahead, 2-1 through three, Houston tied the game on a sacrifice fly by Survance, scoring Barker - who reached on a one-out triple off the right field wall. One pitch later, Ratcliff put the Cougars ahead, 3-2, on a no-doubt homerun over the right field wall - his second long ball of the year.
The Cougars padded their lead with five runs over the final to frames to extend the lead from 3-2 to 8-2.
With one out in the eighth, Barker singled and moved to third on back-to-back, two-out walks from Ratcliff and Grayson to load the bases. Montemayor then took a 1-2 pitch into right field, scoring two to put Houston up 5-2 late.
In the ninth, the Cougars continued to swing the bat well, tacking on three more runs on two hits and three walks. Hollis opened the frame with a screaming liner up the middle and moved to second on a one-out walk by sophomore Josh Vidales. With two outs, Survance walked to load the bases - allowing Ratcliff to walk in the sixth run of the game. Up 6-2, Grayson notched his third hit of the night on a smoked ball through the right side - scoring two - putting the game out of reach at 8-2.
Maxwell finished off the game - striking out the side - and finishing with a career-high five strikeouts against just five batters he faced for the save.
Senior first baseman Casey Grayson
Thoughts on the game
"I mean it was a nice team win. We came out here and got contributions from everybody on the team. It was good to come over here after a long bus ride and pick up a few more road wins. We got off the bus and had to play a little one-inning game to finish our suspended game. It was a little different having to play one game and then start another one. But, like I said, we came out and finished game one strong and came out and took care of business in game two."
On the pitching today
"Pitching was outstanding. [Andrew] Lantrip worked his way out of a tough first inning and settled in and got in a nice groove. After that, [Jared] West came in and did what he normally does. Then, Bubba [Maxwell] came in, faced five batters and struck out all five batters. That's pretty impressive if you ask me."
HOUSTON 5, MCNEESE STATE 2 | Box Score (PDF)
RESUMED - FEB. 25 GAME
A five-run fifth inning sparked by a two-run game-tying homerun by sophomore Justin Montemayor and a go-ahead two-run double by senior Jacob Lueneburg lifted Houston Baseball to a come-from-behind 5-2 win over McNeese State, which all happened back on February 25 at Cougar Field.
Down 2-0 heading into the eighth inning, Houston Baseball had only tallied five total hits in the game, but came out swinging in the eighth frame to notch five hits, including a homerun and two doubles to take the lead with five total runs.
With one out, senior Casey Grayson singled down the right field line to set up a chance for Montemayor to tie the game on his first homerun of the season. Senior Caleb Barker then doubled and senior Landon Appling was hit-by-a-pitch to extend the inning, allowing Lueneburg to drive in both on a go-ahead double into right center to put Houston up 4-2. Fulmer then singled to put runners at the corners with one out for sophomore Josh Vidales, who picked up an RBI on a sacrifice bunt to make it a 5-2 game in the eighth.
Senior Aaron Stewart (1.0,0,0,0,0,0) was the pitcher of record when Houston took the lead to earn his first win of the year in relief.
When the game was called due to rain back on February 25, senior closer Chase Wellbrock (1.0,0,0,0,0,1) was on the mound. He returned to finish the game at McNeese and threw a scoreless ninth inning to earn his ninth save of the season and 21st of his career.
Offensively, Houston tallied 10 hits - led by Lueneburg (2x3, R, 2 RBI) and Ratcliff (2x5), while Montemayor (1x4, R, 2 RBI) drove in two on a homerun and Vidales (1x2, RBI) singled and walked twice, while picking up an RBI on a sacrifice bunt.
Junior David Longville (3.2,3,1,0,2,1) made the start, but received the no-decision after allowing no earned runs on just three hits and two walks with one strikeout.
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The Cougars will return home to host their final weekend series at Cougar Field when they welcome first-place UCF to Houston. The three-game series is slated to begin Friday at 6:30 p.m., continue Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and wrap on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Senior Day: Houston will honor its nine seniors (Casey Grayson, Frankie Ratcliff, Jacob Lueneburg, Caleb Barker, Landon Appling, Tyler Ford, Chase Wellbrock, Aaron Stewart, Daniel Smith) prior to the start of Sunday's game.
By visiting UHCougars.com, clicking the Tickets link, and then Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page or by clicking here, fans can begin purchasing tickets for single games at Cougar Field this season.
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