Houston Baseball's 8-Run First Inning Proved Big in 11-5 Win at McNeese State
May 7, 2013
LAKE CHARLES, La. - All nine Houston starters reached base consecutively in the first inning before an out was recorded en route to an eight-run first inning, lifting the Cougars to an 11-5 win at McNeese State on Tuesday in their final midweek, non-conference game of the season.
FINAL | Lake Charles, La.
Win: Jake Lemoine (4-1)
NUMBERS OF NOTE
6 With his first inning single, freshman Justin Montemayor extends his current hit streak to six straight games.
8 Freshman Jake Lemoine struck out a career-high eight in a career-long 8.0 innings for his seventh win of the year.
17 With his first inning single, freshman Kyle Survance extended his consecutive games of reaching base safely streak to 17.
With the win, Houston improved to 31-18 and has won four of its last five, all coming against teams from the state of Louisiana. McNeese fell to 20-26 with the loss.
Producing the most offensively impressive inning of the season, the Cougars recorded eight straight base hits after a leadoff walk en route to eight runs in the first inning as every Cougar reached base, while rolling over the lineup before the Cowboys were able to record an out.
The big blow came off the bat of freshman Jacob Campbell, who belted his second homerun of his collegiate career, a three-run shot over the left field wall to put Houston up 8-0. Freshman Justin Montemayor drove in two on his single into right field, while juniors Jonathan Davis and Caleb Barker each plated runs on their singles, respectively.
Vidales' leadoff walk to open the game was his 43rd this season and the second baseman now sits just seven walks shy of tying Cougar Great Michael Bourn for the all-time freshman walk record of 50.
Every Cougar starter scored a run in the game and every Cougar starter recorded a base hit as Houston scored 11 runs on 14 hits, while Houston played errorless baseball behind sound pitching.
Leading the way offensively on the night was Davis (2x4, R, 3 RBI), who drove in three on two hits and scored a run, while Campbell (1x5, R, 3 RBI, HR) drove in three on his three-run shot.
Davis was joined by four other Cougars, who notched a multi-hit game as Montemayor (2x5, R, 2 RBI) drove in two on his two hits to continue his strong hitting of late, while fellow freshmen Josh Vidales (2x4, 2 R, RBI, BB) and Kyle Survance (2x4, R) and sophomore Michael Pyeatt (2x5, R) combined for six hits with two each.
Juniors Caleb Barker (1x5, R, RBI), Frankie Ratcliff (1x4, 2 R), and Landon Appling (1x2, R) also notched hits.
Behind a strong offensive night was a career-night for Houston starter Jake Lemoine (8.0,8,5,5,3,8) in his ninth start of his young career. The freshman fanned a career-high eight, while allowing five runs on eight hits in a career-long outing of 8.0 innings to improve to 7-3 on the season -tying for the team high in wins with fellow senior pitcher Austin Pruitt.
After McNeese State narrowed Houston's lead to 8-3 with a three-run homerun in the fourth, the Cougars responded two innings later with its second multi-run inning of the game, scoring three following a leadoff walk by Appling, an RBI-single by Vidales and a two-run single by Davis, plating Ratcliff, who walked.
Back up by eight at 11-3, Lemoine cruised to a career-night with eight strikeouts, surpassing his previous high of seven, which came a week ago in a win vs. Louisiana-Lafayette. He went back out in the ninth after holding the Cowboys at bay for four straight frames.
McNeese State threatened with three straight hits in the ninth to force a Houston pitching change with the Cougars leading 11-4.
With runners at second and third and no outs, sophomore reliever Ryan Vruggink (1.0,0,0,0,1,0) entered. Working a walk, the Cowboys had bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, but Vruggink dialed in to retire the next three hitters on a sacrifice fly before inducing a game-ending 5U3 double-play for his 11th appearance out of the pen this season.
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Houston will return to Cougar Field to host UAB in a three-game weekend C-USA series, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. The series is slated to continue Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and wrap up at 1 p.m. Sunday.