April 30, 2013
HOUSTON -- Junior Jonathan Davis drove in four RBI and Cougar pitching held the nation's leading slugging team to just four hits as Houston Baseball secured a 6-4 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Tuesday at Cougar Field in non-conference play.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
4 Junior Jonathan Davis tied a career high with four RBI. The last time he achieved that feat was in the Baylor game of the College Classic.
7 Freshman pitcher Jake Lemoine had a career high seven strikeouts in the win against Louisiana. His previous high was five at Marshall.
13 With his single to right field in the first inning, freshman Kyle Survance extended his consecutive games of reaching base safely streak to 13.
20 With his third triple of the season, Michael Pyeatt gave the Cougars 20 total triples on the season. That mark is seven away from the team record set in 1990.
The win snapped a six-game skid for the Cougars as the Scarlet and White improved to 28-17 this season and 19-7 at home, while the Ragin' Cajuns fell to 31-15.
Freshman Jake Lemoine (5.0,3,4,4,4,7) struck out a career-high seven Louisiana hitters, while holding the offensively sound Ragin' Cajuns to just three hits in 5.0 innings to earn his sixth win of his young career and improve to 6-3.
Junior Chase Wellbrock (3.0,1,0,0,0,5) fanned five in his 3.0 innings of relief work, where he was once again the go-to guy out of the pen with the Cougars up by two runs. The righty allowed just one hit and didn't walk a batter to earn his seventh save of the season.
Houston's offense came alive early as the Cougars pounded out 12 hits, led by four Cougars with a multi-hit game. Davis (2x4, 2 R, 4 RBI) belted his second homerun of the year and doubled, while scoring two runs and driving in career-tying four RBI in the effort.
Sophomore Michael Pyeatt (2x3, R, RBI, IBB) remained hot at the plate, tagging two hits, including his third triple of the year as he drove in a run on that three-bagger.
Freshman Kyle Survance (2x4, R) tallied two hits and extended his on-base streak to 13 straight games, while fellow newcomer Justin Montemayor (2x3, 2 R, BB) reached base on two base hits.
Also picking up base knocks for the Cougars were freshman Josh Vidales (1x4, BB), junior Frankie Ratcliff (1x4), junior Caleb Barker (1x3, RBI, SF) and junior Landon Appling (1x3).
Davis belted his second career homerun with two outs in the first to put the Cougars up 3-0. Scoring on the long ball was Survance, who singled and Montemayor, who walked.
Houston put up another three-spot on the third when Montemayor, Davis and Pyeatt all recorded back-to-back hits - which included a single, double and triple.
The nation's leading homerun ball club showed off its power with a three-run homerun to make it a 6-3 game in the fourth, but Cougar pitching wouldn't allow much more as the Ragin' Cajuns managed to scratch just one more run across in the sixth after sophomore Ryan Vruggink (1.0,0,0,0,2,1) inherited a leadoff walk. The righty was able to induce a flyout and a strikeout, while relying on the solid shortstop play of Ratcliff to rob Louisiana of a base hit through the left side with his lateral movement on a 6-4 fielder's choice.
The Cougars had their chances to extend their lead in the third and fifth innings, but Louisiana showed off its outfield arm strength, gunning two Houston runners attempting to score on base hits out at home.
Vruggink worked his 1.0 inning and then handed the ball off the Wellbrock in the seventh, who induced a crucial 5-4-3 double play after the leadoff reached on a walk. Wellbrock worked around a leadoff double in the eighth with two strikeouts and a flyout.
He went on to strike the final batter out of each inning he pitched to preserve the Cougars' early lead for the win and the save.
HEAD COACH Todd Whitting
"We played a complete game tonight. That was the Cougar Baseball team that we've had for most parts of the year. Team did a good job of flushing away the past. It's like I told them before the game, it's all about playing the next game. That team we beat tonight is the best team we've played, by far, all year. They lead the nation in a couple of offensive categories, and for our pitching staff to hold them to four hits is phenomenal. Great job tonight from (Jake) Lemoine, (Ryan) Vruggink, and (Chase) Wellbrock they did an unbelievable job on the mound. Offensively we had two-out RBI, and the big home run from JD (Jonathan Davis). That's our team right there, and that's the way I know we can play. We just have to keep showing up like that every day."
On the approach at the plate
"Yesterday I was working hard in the cages trying to get my barrel to the ball. Today I saw some good pitches, and was able to execute what I was working on. This win is huge for us, because it put a stop to all the negative momentum we've had lately. Hopefully it'll carry us to a hot streak going into the weekend."
On closing the game
"I was just trying to go in and do my job on the mound. I've had a rough road these past couple of weeks, and I just wanted to go out there do my job, and give my team a chance to win the game."
On Louisiana leading the nation in offensive categories
"I thought about that early in the game, but throughout the game I realized if we just make pitches we'll get these guys out. I wanted to do exactly that, and hit my spots."
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Houston will travel to Tulane for its final Conference USA road series this weekend. The three-game set is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday in New Orleans.