May 3, 2003
HOUSTON - Louisville jumped out to a five-run lead after four-and-a-half innings and then held off a late rally to take an 8-6 win over the University of Houston baseball team on Saturday in the second game of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
Trailing 8-5 and entering their final at bat, the Cougars (27-21, 15-7 C-USA) pulled to within two after back-to-back hits from pinch hitter Brad Sullivan and Michael Bourn, and Gabe Lucas slapped an RBI-single to make the score 8-6. UH continued to threaten with runners on second and third and two outs, but Cardinal reliever Carlos Fernandez struck out the final batter to end the game and snap the Cougars' 10-game winning streak at home.
The series wraps up at noon Sunday. Sunday's game time is an hour earlier than the Cougars' regular starting time due to Louisville's travel plans.
UH junior southpaw Brian Henderson (4-2, 2.09) is slated to start the series finale with Louisville's starting pitcher to be determined.
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.
Hyung Cho went 3-for-5 with two runs, three RBIs and his team-leading 11th homer of the season to top the Cougar offensive attack, which outhit Louisville 11-10. Bourn also batted 3-for-5 with a run in the losing effort.
UH starter Danny Zell dropped to 8-4 this season after giving up eight runs (six earned) off eight hits with three strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work.
Louisville starter Zach Jackson improved to 7-4 after scattering five runs (four earned) off eight hits with four strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Fernandez collected his team-leading eighth save after holding the Cougars to one run off three hits in the final 3.1 innings.
Despite the loss, the Cougars clinched a spot in the 2003 C-USA Tournament on May 21-25, hosted by Tulane in New Orleans after UAB split a doubleheader with Charlotte in Alabama on Saturday.
The Cardinals (28-16, 11-11 C-USA) took their first lead of the series in their first at-bat. Dave Williams extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a single up the middle and moved into scoring position following a balk. Boomer Whiting then plated Williams with a double into the right center gap.
However, the Cougars answered in the bottom of the frame. Bourn led off with a single to left and moved to second base on Gabe Lucas' sacrifice bunt. From there, Cho slapped a single up the middle to score Bourn and tie the game at 1-1.
Louisville's Morgan Bojorquez laced an RBI-single to start the scoring in the Louisville third, and J.T. LaFountain provided the big blast with a two-run double in the frame.
In the fourth inning, the Cougars cut that deficit in half with a pair of runs. Lucas led off with a single to center field and moved to third on Cho's second straight hit. Bruce then laced a double down the left field line to score Lucas, and Cho scored on Louisville's first error of the evening.
However, the Cardinals answered in the next half-inning with two runs of their own. Ryan McKinnon slapped a two-out, two-run double into right center and later scored on a passed ball to push UL's lead to 8-3.
Cho then pulled the Cougars to within 8-5 after blasting a 1-1 offering from Jackson over the left field wall.
LaFountain batted 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs to lead Louisville, while Williams went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs. Bojorquez finished the night 2-for-5 with a run and RBI.