May 6, 2005
HOUSTON - Dustin Kingsbury's two-run single and a subsequent error in the outfield cleared the bases and turned a one-run deficit into a one-run lead to help lead the University of Houston baseball team to an 8-6 win over Saint Louis in the opener of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
Trailing 5-3 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, the Cougars struck for five runs off three hits, two walks and a hit batter to win their 13th consecutive game over Saint Louis at Cougar Field. Bryan Pounds led off with a single up the middle and moved to second base following Brett Logan's sacrifice bunt.
Travis Tully drew a walk, and Kori Williams was hit by a pitch to load the bases. All runners then moved up a base on a wild pitch from SLU reliever B.J. Rodrigue, cutting the deficit to 5-4. After Kevin Roberts drew a walk, Kingsbury laced a sinking line drive into right field that got past SLU right fielder Mark Hankes and rolled to the wall, scoring all three runners and giving the Cougars a 7-5 lead.
The rally continued as Bryan Tully's two-out single up the middle scored Kingsbury and gave the Cougars an 8-6 lead.
SLU threatened in the top of the ninth and cut the lead to 8-6 when Scott Peden blasted a solo homer to right field, his second of the game. But, UH reliever Justin Vaclavik retired the side with no further damage to record his team-leading ninth save, tying for the third most in UH single-season history.
UH reliever Gene Flores earned his first win of the season and improved to 1-4 after holding Saint Louis to only one run off three hits with four strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work.
Rodrigue collected the loss and dropped to 0-2 after giving up three runs (two earned) off two hits with a strikeout in 0.2 innings.
Peden went 3-for-5 with three runs, two homers and three RBIs to lead the Billikens which outhit the Cougars 14-10. Patrick Valdez batted 3-for-5 with a run, two RBIs and home run of his own, while Hankes finished the night 3-for-4.
Travis Tully went 2-for-4 with a run to extend his hitting streak to a season-best nine straight games. Kingsbury batted 2-for-5 with a run and a pair of RBIs, while Pounds finished the game 2-for-4 with a pair of runs.
The series continues at 7 p.m., Saturday before wrapping up at 1 p.m., Sunday. Both games can be heard live on KGBC 1540 AM and on the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with former UH letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action.
Fans also can follow all the action by clicking on the Gametracker link at www.UHCougars.com.
The Cougars grabbed an early lead with a run in the second inning. After back-to-back, one-out singles from Pounds and Logan, Travis Tully grounded out to put runners at second and third. Chris Joseph was hit by a pitch from Zielinski to load the bases, and Kevin Roberts plated Pounds by drawing a walk for a 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, the Cougars pushed their lead to 2-0 without the benefit of a hit. After back-to-back walks to Brad Lincoln and Bryan Tully, Lincoln moved to third base following a fielder's choice and scored on a wild pitch.
In the fifth inning, Brian Temko added another single run for the Cougars with his first career home run to left field.
The Billikens answered in the next half inning when Peden launched a homer over the left-field wall and then tied the game in the seven when Valdez smashed a two-run homer to left field. The SLU rally continued as Peden and Bill Musselman later laced RBI-singles to give the Billikens a 5-3 lead.