Cougars Fall in Series Finale at No. 6 Rice, 8-2
May 6, 2012
W: John Simms (4-0)
NUMBERS OF NOTE
7 Houston catcher John Cannon had a hit in all three games to improve his hitting streak to seven games.
HOUSTON—The University of Houston baseball team fell 8-2 in its series finale at No. 6 Rice on Sunday afternoon at Reckling Park. The Owls took the 2012 Silver Glove Series, 3-1, while the Cougars named John Cannon, Landon Appling, Michael Pyeatt, Austin Pruitt, and Jordan Lewis to the All-Series Team.
Houston fell to 16-28-1 overall and 4-13-1 in C-USA play, while Rice improved to 33-13 and 13-5 in league action.
“We stayed in the game. I give my guys credit. We fought and clawed,” said head coach Todd Whitting. “We were a couple of swings away from being right back in this.”
The theme is to award the series’ most deserving players.
The Cougars were held to just five hits in the afternoon finale, led by senior John Cannon’s 2-for-2 performance with two sacrifice bunts. Also tallying a base knock was sophomore Landon Appling (1x5), junior Jacob Lueneburg (1x4) and freshman Price Jacobs (1x2, RBI, 2 BB), who drove in Houston’s first run. Classmate Zack Gibson drove in a run on a sacrifice bunt, while sophomore Jonathan Davis scored both of the Cougars’ runs after earning two walks.
Houston starter Jordan Mannisto (3.0,8,3,3,3,4) suffered the loss and fell to 1-4 on the year. The right-hander surrendered three runs on eight hits and three walks, while fanning four, one shy of tying his career-high.
The Cougars’ staff allowed 10 walks and two hit-by-pitches for 12 free passes to the Owls’ offense. Houston did managed to escape several jams, making key defensive plays and striking out several Rice hitters to send the Owls away with 15 runners left on base.
Seeing action out of the Houston pen following Mannisto was junior lefty Matt Hernandez (0.1,1,1,1,1,0), freshman righty Ryan Vruggink (1.0,0,1,1,1,2) who fanned two and escaped a bases loaded jam in the fourth inning. Junior lefty Aaron Stewart (0.2,0,0,0,1,0) worked two outs, while seniors Codey Morehouse (2.0,3,3,3,3,1) and Jared Ray (1.0,0,0,0,1,1) each worked the final three frames for Houston.
Rice took an early 1-0 lead after the first inning following three hits and a walk. The Cougars went on to answer with a run of their own in the second when Davis led off with a walk, moved to second on a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by Cannon, took third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI-single by Jacobs.
The Owls stranded three in the first and three in the second, but plated another run to go up 2-1 after two innings. Houston tied the game in the fourth after Davis, again, opened the inning with a walk, moved to second and third on a Cannon sac bunt and a Jake Runte walk for Gibson to sacrifice him in from third on a nice bunt down the first base line.
Houston was held to just two hits through five innings by Rice starter John Simms, (5.2,3,2,2,3,4) who earned the win for Rice and improved to 4-0 this year. The Owls added three more runs to its total in the fourth and fifth and another three in the seventh to take an 8-2 lead.
Rice tallied 12 hits, led by Jeremy Rathjen’s 3-for-3 effort, two runs scored and three RBI.
Tyler Duffey (3.1,2,0,0,2,3) pitched the final 3.1 innings to earn his fourth save of the season for Rice.
All-Silver Glove Series Team:
John Cannon landed himself on the All-Series team now two years in a row as the senior catcher was named as a Wild Card selection in 2011.
KEY SERIES NOTES