May 7, 2006
HOUSTON - University of Houston freshman righthander Luis Flores allowed only two hits through seven shutout innings to help lead the 10th-ranked University of Houston baseball team to a 5-2 win over UCF in the finale of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
Flores, who improved to 5-2 with the win, did not allow a Golden Knight hit until the fifth inning on the way to picking up his third straight win. The Corpus Christi, Texas, native also retired 10 consecutive batters midway through his stint.
Senior southpaw Matt Farrington picked up his first save of the 2006 season and the first since 2004 after recording the final two outs in the ninth inning on a strikeout and groundout.
The Cougars picked up two runs in the fifth and sixth innings and never looked back, although the UCF offense rallied with single runs in each of the last two innings and threatened for more on several occasions.
UH junior infielder Josh Stirneman went 2-for-4 with a run, homer and two RBIs, while freshman shortstop Travis Cougot batted 2-for-3 with a run. Catcher Brett Logan, competing in his final regular-season home game as a senior, went 2-for-2 and threw out a pair of UCF baserunners.
UCF starter Brett Bordwine collected the loss and fell to 2-2 after giving up four runs off four hits with four strikeouts and four walks in 5.2 innings of work.
Matt Lambert came off the bench to go 2-for-2 with a double and RBI, while infielder Danny Kash went 2-for-3 with a run to lead the Golden Knights.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 34-17 overall, 17-4 C-USA, and earned its third C-USA series sweep this season. UCF dropped to 23-27 overall, 5-13 C-USA.
UH also won its eighth straight home game and ended the 2006 regular season with a 22-4 record at the friendly confines of Cougar Field. With that mark, the team set a Cougar Field single-season record in winning percentage at 84.6, topping the previous mark of 80.8 (20-5 record) set by the 2000 team.
The Cougars will take a break from non-conference games this week before returning to action in a pivotal C-USA series at No.1 Rice next weekend. That series begins at 7 p.m., Friday, continues at 2 p.m., Saturday and wraps up at 1 p.m., Sunday. The Cougars enter the series three games behind the Owls in the loss column in the C-USA standings.
All three games can be heard live over the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with former UH letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. Fans also can follow play-by-play action by clicking on the "Live Stats" link on the schedule at www.UHCougars.com.
The Cougars struck for the game's first runs in the fifth inning. Cougot led off with a single to center field and swiped second base to move into scoring position. After Logan's sacrifice bunt, Farrington drew a walk and then stole second base. Jake Stewart with a single into shallow right center field that plated both runners and handed the Cougars a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth inning, UH added two more runs. Brad Lincoln drew a leadoff walk and scored two batters later when Stirneman blasted a home run off the scoreboard in right center field.
UCF put its first mark on the scoreboard in the eighth inning on pinch hitter Matt Lambert's RBI-double to the wall in left center.
The Cougars answered with a run in the bottom of the frame, though, when Dustin Kingsbury launched a 2-0 offering over the wall in right field to lead off.
The Golden Knights rallied in the ninth inning with another run on Matt Ray's RBI-single to left center. However, that would be as close as UCF would get the rest of the way.