April 30, 2002
HOUSTON, Texas - Four University of Houston pitchers combined to toss 16 strikeouts as the eighth-ranked Cougars took a 5-2 win over Texas-San Antonio on Tuesday at Cougar Field.
The Cougar hurlers combined to throw at least one strikeout every inning and retired 12 of the last 15 batters they faced on punchouts. After giving up two UTSA runs in the first inning, the hurlers combined to limit the Roadruners to no runs and only three hits over the final eight frames.
Reliever Ryan Wagner led the way with a career-high eight strikeouts against only 10 batters, while Gene Flores added five strikeouts in 3.1 innings of relief. Starter Keith Whatley posted two and Danny Zell added one strikeout in the winning effort.
Zell collected the win with only 0.1 innings of relief as the Cougars rallied for two runs in the bottom of the sixth and took the lead for good. Wagner collected the first save of his collegiate career with three innings of hitless relief.
UTSA starter Mike Srp dropped to 4-4 this season after allowing 11 hits and four runs in 5.1 innings.
The Cougars posted their fifth straight win and won for the 11th time in their last 13 games, while UTSA dropped to 23-23 overall.
Meanwhile, the Cougar offense continued its dominating play of late, racking up 15 hits. It marked the seventh straight game and the 12th time in the last 13 outings that UH has recorded double-digit hits.
Third baseman Hyung Cho went 3-for-3 with a run to lead the attack, while Michael Bourn, Chris Snyder, Thanos Papapavasiliou, Jesse Crain and Cole Bruce each added two hits apiece.
Snyder blasted his 10th home run of the season to knot the game at 2-2 in the fifth inning, and Crain led off the sixth inning with a shot to left center for his sixth homer of the year.
Brett Cooley extended his hitting streak to a UH season-best 16 straight games with a single to left field in his first at-bat but did not record an RBI in the contest, snapping a 12-game streak in that category.
UTSA struck for the game's first runs in the first inning when Justin Brandt blasted a Whatley offering to right field for a 2-0 UTSA lead.
UH answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning. After Bourn placed a bunt single down the third base line to lead off, he moved to second a Srp wild pitch and advanced to third on an infield groundout. Snyder then plated Bourn with a sharp single to left field, extending his hitting streak to a season-best nine games.
After the home runs by Snyder and Crain, UH added another run in the sixth inning when Bourn's infield single glanced off the leg of UTSA second baseman Aaron Semper and allowed Cole Bruce to score from third base.
The Cougars added one more run in the eighth inning on Gabe Lucas' RBI-single.
UH continues its Conference USA season and looks to extend its lead in the league this weekend when it plays host to South Florida in a three-game series at Cougar Field. The series begins with 7 p.m. games on Friday and Saturday before wrapping up at 1 p.m. Sunday.