Late Offensive Rally, Clutch Pitching Gives Baseball Series Win at Tulane
May 5, 2013
NEW ORLEANS, La. - A come-from-behind, two-run ninth inning and clutch pitching down the stretch lifted Houston Baseball to a 3-2 victory on Sunday and a series win at Tulane this weekend as it notched win No. 30 this season.
FINAL | New Orleans, La.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
16 With his third inning hit-by-pitch, freshman Kyle Survance extended his consecutive games of reaching base safely streak to 16.
30 Houston notched WIN No. 30 on Sunday to mark the first 30-win season since 2008.
The series win marked the sixth weekend series victory of the season and third in C-USA as the Cougars improved to 30-18 overall and 9-9 in league play to accompany its first 30-win season since 2008. Tulane fell to 24-24 and 8-10 with the loss.
It was also the fourth last at-bat win of the season for this young squad, while improving to 21-1 when scoring first.
After grabbing a 1-0 lead, Tulane would tie it up in the fourth and take a 2-1 lead into the ninth until Houston broke loose for two runs on two hits and perfectly executed small ball for the come-from-behind effort.
Houston was held to just four hits, but all four proved critical in the one-run win. Leading the way was junior Caleb Barker (2x4, 2 RBI) with his two doubles and two RBI, including the game-tying run driven in. Freshman Justin Montemayor (1x3, R) and junior Jonathan Davis (1x4, R) each singled to lead off innings in which the Cougars scored runs.
Sophomore Price Jacobs, off the bench, laid down the game-winning RBI-squeeze bunt, scoring freshman Ashford Fulmer, who pinch ran for sophomore Michael Pyeatt, who drew two walks in the game.
Sophomore starter Aaron Garza (6.1,5,2,2,1,6) was solid in his 11th start of the season, but received the no-decision after exciting with the Cougars down 2-1. The righty struck out six in 6.1 innings, allowing just two runs on five hits and one walk - keeping Tulane hitters at bay for much of the day.
Senior reliever Matt Hernandez (2.0,3,0,0,0,0) took over for Garza in the seventh and worked his way out of one of the toughest jams of the year as bases were loaded with less than two outs. The lefty recorded the second out of the inning on a nice 1-2 putout at home and got the final hitter to lineout to Davis at third.
Hernandez was back out and worked a quick eighth inning and returned in the ninth to record an out with a runner at second. The southpaw pitched 2.0 innings in relief to earn the win and improved to 4-1 on the year, as he was the pitcher of record when the Cougars took the lead in the ninth.
Junior Chase Wellbrock (0.2,0,0,0,0,0) notched his third save this week and ninth of the year as he retired the final two Tulane hitters in the ninth to preserve the win for the Cougars in his hitless 0.2 innings.
Breaking open the game was Houston as it plated the game's first run in the second after Montemayor led off the inning with a single into centerfield, moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Pyeatt and scored on a Barker RBI-double into right center.
Garza would work around base runners in the first three innings, but Tulane scratched across a run in the fourth to tie it up at 1-1 following a back-to-back one-out hits. Pyeatt's defense in left field saved a run as the made a frontward diving catch to end the inning and keep Tulane from taking the lead.
A pitchers' duel was evident as both pitchers combined to retire at least eight opposing hitters in the middle innings. Tulane was able to take its first lead of the game on a two-hit inning in the seventh.
Freshman Josh Vidales drew his 42nd walk of the season with one out in the eighth, stole second and moved to third on a 3-1 groundout by Survance. With Vidales at third as the tying run and two outs with Ratcliff up, Tulane third baseman Garrett Cannizaro made a diving play to rob Ratcliff of a game-tying RBI-single to end the inning.
Houston defense and pitching left nine Tulane hitters on base, while the Cougars played errorless baseball once again.
Tulane starter David Napoli (8.0,3,2,2,2,3) allowed two runs on three hits in 8.0 innings of work with two walks and three strikeouts, but would also receive a no-decision. Reliever Brady Wilson (0.1,0,1,1,1,1,0) would be tagged with the loss, falling to 1-3.