May 2, 2003
HOUSTON - University of Houston pitcher Brad Sullivan struck out 12 in eight innings of work to help lead the Cougars baseball team to an 8-3 win over Louisville on Friday in the opener of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
With those numbers, he boosted his season strikeout total to 127, the second-highest mark in UH single-season history. The Nederland, Texas, native already owns the school season record with 157 Ks in 2002. It was also the 13th double-digit strikeout game of his collegiate career, another school record.
Sullivan used his strikeouts effectively in the game's first half-inning to get the Cougars out of a jam. After Dave Williams Jr., walked to lead off, Boomer Whiting pushed a line drive bunt beyond the reach of UH's diving first baseman Thanos Papavasiliou down the right field line to put runners on second and third with no outs.
However, Sullivan struck out Josh Bolen and Mark Jurich looking and then got Ron Braun to go down swinging and give the Cougars some momentum in their first at-bat. And the UH offense took advantage of that momentum to score the game's first run on Hyung Cho's RBI-single and added another run on Thanos Papavasiliou's RBI-double.
Sullivan improved to 6-4 this season and moved a tie for fifth place in UH career history with his 25th win. He also moved his career strikeout total to 383, only five away from tying the school record of 388, set by Shane Nance from 1997 to 2000.
Meanwhile, the Cougar offense continued to roll along with 13 hits in the game. Freshman outfielder Matt Farrington enjoyed a career night, batting 3-for-3 with two runs, two doubles, two stolen bases and an RBI. Michael Bourn batted 3-for-4 with three runs, three stolen bases and an RBI, and Cho finished the night 2-for-3 with a run and game-high four RBIs.
The series continues at 7 p.m., Saturday before wrapping up at noon, Sunday at Cougar Field. Fans should note that Sunday's game time is an hour earlier from the Cougars' regular starting time on that day.
UH junior southpaw Danny Zell (8-3, 2.80) will take the hill in game two for the Cougars with Louisville southpaw Zach Jackson (6-4, 3.66) expected to start for the Cardinals.
Fans can catch the action at KAXF 88.3 FM or over the Internet at www.UHcougars.com with pregame slated to begin about 15 minutes before the first pitch. Fans can also catch the action batter-by-batter by visiting www.UHcougars.com and clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the Daily Calendar at the bottom of the main page.
After jumping ahead 2-0 in the first inning, the Cougars added to their lead in their next at-bat. In the second inning, Farrington led off with a double into no-man's land in shallow center field and moved to third on a fly ball into the right center gap. From there, Stuart Musslewhite laced an RBI-single through the left side of a drawn-in UL infield for a 3-0 UH lead.
Louisville put its mark on the scoreboard in the third inning when Nick Haley reached on an infield single and raced all the way to third base on a UH infield error. From there, Williams walked and stole second and moved up another base on UH's error on the steal attempt, which allowed Haley to score easily from third.
However, the Cougars answered in the bottom of the frame with a run of their own. Bourn reached on another infield single and again stole second base to move into scoring position. Moving to third on a groundout, Cho lifted a sacrifice fly into center field for a 4-1 UH lead.
UH expanded its lead in the sixth inning with a two-out rally. After drawing a walk and stealing second base, Farrington moved to third on a wild pitch and scored easily when Gabe Lucas slapped an RBI-single up the middle.
Louisville scored twice in the seventh inning. The Cardinals took advantage of the Cougars' third error of the night to score their first run and pulled to within two runs when Whiting's groundout plated Haley. However, that would be as close as the Cardinals would get the rest of the night.
Haley went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs, while Williams batted 1-for-2 with three walks to lead Louisville.