NEW ORLEANS, La. -- One swing of the bat by Chris Iriart and a complete game shutout performance by Kyle Dowdy proved to be all No. 20 Houston Baseball needed in a 3-0 win over Tulane on Saturday afternoon to even the American Athletic Conference weekend series.
With the win, the Cougars evened up the series and will force a rubber game on Sunday at 1 p.m. The win lifted the Cougars' overall record to 31-16 and their league record to 10-7, while Tulane fell to 29-17 and 9-8 in conference action.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
2 -- Houston recorded its second complete game shutout this week (Longville vs. SHSU; Dowdy at Tulane).
3 -- The Houston defense turned three double plays, tying a season-high.
7 -- Houston recorded its seventh shutout of the season.
8 -- Chris Iriart has homered in eight of the 10 weekend series for Houston this season.
14 -- Chris Iriart belted his conference-leading 14th homerun of the season in the first inning.
26 -- Kyle Survance swiped his 26th stolen base of the year with two outs in seventh.
34 -- Houston has hit 34 homeruns this season after hitting only 17 a year ago, the most since 44 in 2010.
Behind the brilliant pitching performance of Dowdy, Houston recorded its second complete game shutout this week and its third of the season, while also tallying its seventh overall shutout of 2015.
Dowdy (9.0,4,0,0,2,6) fanned six and walked just two in the 9.0 inning shutout effort, allowing just four scattered hits on the afternoon. With that performance, the San Diego, Calif. native improved to 7-1 on the year and has now won his fourth consecutive start, two of which he has gone the distance.
The Houston offense provided what proved to be all it needed in the first inning on four straight hits, highlighted by Iriart's conference-leading 14th homerun of the season.
Iriart finished the day, 2-for-3 with a run scored and three RBI, while junior Josh Vidales had a two-hit game, scoring a run and junior Kyle Survance (1x4, R), junior Jacob Campbell (1x3) and freshman Connor Wong (1x3) all added hits in the win.
Houston came out of the gates swinging, tallying four hits by the first four Cougars as Survance opened the game with a double that one hopped the center field fence. He moved to third on a single by Vidales as runners sat on the corners for Iriart.
On a 0-2 count, Iriart belted his conference-leading 14th homerun over the left center wall to put Houston up 3-0 quickly. The 14 homeruns is the most by a Cougar since Jake Stewart hit 14 in 2008.
Dowdy would retire the first six hitters he faced, before allowing a leadoff single in the third. That runner was erased on the Cougars' first of three double plays on the afternoon.
Tulane made its biggest threat in the seventh inning after a two-out single and walk put runners at first and second -- the only inning where the Green Wave had the tying run at the plate, but Dowdy was able to induce an inning-ending flyout to keep Tulane off the board.
Tulane starter Alex Massey (7.1,7,3,3,3,4) pitched well, holding the Cougars to just three hits after surrending four in the first inning. He suffered the loss, falling to 5-3 after allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
"Great team win today. Obviously, Kyle Dowdy was outstanding -- a very gutsy performance by him. Chris Iriart with the big three-run homerun in the first inning. [Alex] Massey is a good pitcher for the Green Wave and we were able to get to him early. After that first inning, he settled in and pitched to us like he did when he beat us in Houston. Overall, just proud of the team for bouncing back and getting a win against another really good pitcher on this Tulane staff."
The Houston-Tulane series will wrap up on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Single game tickets for the remaining seven home games at Cougar Field can be purchased by clicking here: UHCougars.com/Basetickets.
Along with the online option, fans can purchase tickets by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office at TDECU Stadium Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or can call 713-GO-COOGS.
Houston Baseball offers variable pricing on its single-game tickets and group rates.
For the first time ever, the pricing breakdown will be determined whether or not you purchase your single-game tickets online vs. at the gate the day of the game as well as whether the Cougars play on a weekday (Monday-Thursday) or weekend (Friday-Sunday).
Weekday: Monday-Thursday; Weekend: Friday-Sunday.
As noted in the table, variable pricing occurs. For weekday (Tuesday nights) online purchases, fans can take in a game, ranging from $5-$7 depending on the choice of seating. If you choose to purchase the day of the game as a Weekday Walk-Up, you will pay roughly $2 more than the online price ($7-$9).
Weekend (Friday-Sunday) online pricing will range from $6-$8 per game, while Weekend Walk-Up pricing the day of the game will run a fan anywhere from $8-$10.
Group rates are also available (as noted in the table). Weekday (Tuesday) and Weekend (Friday-Sunday) pricing occurs. Groups of 10-24 are set at $4-$5 per person, while groups of 25+ are $3-$4 per person.
HOW TO PURCHASE
To purchase tickets in advance, fans must visit the Athletics Ticket Stadium Office located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1 off Cullen Boulevard. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or you can call 713-GO-COOGS.
JOIN THE DUGOUT CLUB
Nationally-ranked Houston Baseball would like to encourage those wishing to support the efforts and success of the baseball student-athletes to consider joining the Dugout Club for as low as $25 a month or $300 annually.
For a minimum monthly installment of $25 or a minimum one-time gift of $300, supporters can take advantage of the Pinch Hitter level, which will guarantee an invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball team apparel.
For a minimum monthly installment of $100 or a minimum one-time gift of $1,000, supporters can take advantage of the Diamond level, which will guarantee batting practice passes for two to any home game, invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball apparel.
**Cougar Pride points will be applied accordingly.
For more information on joining the Dugout Club, please contact the Houston Baseball office at (713) 743-9396.
For more information regarding Cougar Pride, please call (713) 743-GOUH.
Stay up to date with all Houston Baseball news and highlights by following us on Twitter @UHCougarBB or on Facebook at /HoustonCougarBaseball. Fans can also follow head coach Todd Whitting @toddwhitting on Twitter.