May 8, 2004
HOUSTON - University of Houston pitcher Kevin Roberts held Memphis to only one run off three hits with a career-best nine strikeouts to lead the Cougars to a 6-2 win over the Tigers on Saturday in the second game of a Conference USA series at Cougar Field.
Roberts, who threw a career-high seven innings in evening his season record at 4-4, struck out at least one batter in each frame and retired 14 of the last 16 batters that he faced. Chad House's leadoff home run to start the third inning was the only blemish on the Pearland, Texas, native's evening.
After falling behind early again, the Cougar offense rallied and claimed the lead for good in the fourth inning. UH outfielder Rob Johnson went 3-for-4 and added two runs, a double and RBI as UH outhit Memphis 10-5. Thanos Papavasiliou batted 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Travis Tully went 1-for-4 with a double and run to extend his hitting streak to a UH season- and career-best 16 consecutive games.
Memphis starter Derek Hankins dropped to 6-5 after allowing six runs (five earned) off nine hits and four walks with seven strikeouts in six innings of work.
Bill Moss went 2-for-4 with a run as the only Tiger with more than one hit in the game.
The Cougars wrap up the series against Memphis at 1 p.m., Sunday. The game can be heard live over the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling the action. Fans can follow live stats at www.UHCougars.com by clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the bottom of the main page.
For the second straight game, Memphis grabbed the first lead when House blasted a solo homer over the left field wall in the third inning.
The Cougars gained the lead for good in the fourth inning with a pair of runs, thanks to three hits and a Memphis error. Cole Bruce led off with a double to right center and moved to third base on Johnson's infield single. Roberts then laced an infield single deep into the hole at shortstop to score Bruce and tie the game at 1-1.
Two batters later, Stuart Musslewhite reached on a fielder's choice. When Musslewhite took off in an attempt to steal second base, catcher Kurt Welch's throw to second base sailed into center field when no Tiger defender cut off the throw, allowing Johnson to score and give the Cougars a 2-1 lead.
In the sixth inning, Johnson led off with a single to center field and moved to second on Kevin Roberts' sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Musslewhite laced an RBI-single up the middle for a 3-1 UH advantage.
UH pushed its lead to 6-1 in the seventh inning. Tully started the rally with a double down the right field line and moved to third base on a passed ball. After a walk to Matt Farrington, Papavasiliou laced a single through the left side to score Tully.
Following a Memphis pitching change, Patrick Gaylord reached on a fielder's choice, and Johnson slapped a double down the right field line to score Farrington. Roberts reached first on an intentional walk, and Nick Bott drew a bases-loaded walk for the Cougars' final run.
Memphis pulled to within 6-2 in the eighth inning when Brent Dlugach's double down the left field line scored Moss. However, that would be as close as the Tigers would get the rest of the way.