HOUSTON -- A 13-hit effort and another solid pitching performance by a Houston starter led to a 10-1 victory for No. 21 Houston Baseball over East Carolina on Friday evening in a pivotal American Athletic Conference series at Cougar Field.
With the win, the Cougars remain atop the league standings and have now won six straight home games to improve to 34-16 on the year and 12-7 in league play, while East Carolina dropped to 31-19 and 11-8 with the loss.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
3 -- Corey Julks has had two or more hits in the last three games.
4 -- Four straight Cougars tallied an RBI in the eighth inning.
6 -- Houston has now won six straight home games at Cougar Field.
6 -- Connor Wong hit his sixth homerun of his freshman season.
7 -- Andrew Lantrip earned his seventh win of the year, improving to 7-3.
13 -- Kyle Survance singled and drove in a run in the eighth inning and has reached base in 13 straight games.
13 -- Houston had 13 hits and has now recorded at least 10 hits in the last three wins.
36 -- Houston has now hit 36 homeruns as a team, most since 44 back in 2010.
51 -- Houston's pitching has held its opponents scoreless in 51 of the last 56 innings, dating back to April 26 at USF.
Lantrip (8.0,8,1,1,2,9) put together another gritty performance, holding East Carolina to just one run on eight scattered hits and two walks in 8.0 innings of work. The right-hander fanned nine to up his season total to 86 punchouts in 90.2 innings. The Livingston, Texas native improved to 7-3 on the year.
Houston's offense tallied 13 hits en route to 10 runs, which included a crooked number of runs in the second, sixth and eighth innings.
Juniors Chris Iriart (2x4, 2 RBI), Ashford Fulmer (1x3, R, 2 RBI) and freshman Connor Wong (1x4, 2 R, 2 RBI) led the team with a pair of RBI each as Wong belted his sixth homerun of the season and Fulmer broke open the scoreless game in the second with his two-run double.
Freshman Corey Julks went 3-for-4 with a run and RBI as he has now tallied at least two hits in the last three games for the Cougars. Junior Ian Rice added two hits and scored a run, while junior Josh Vidales went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI.
All but one Houston starter scored a run in the winning effort, while the defense behind Lantrip played errorless baseball for the third game in the last four contests.
East Carolina threatened in the first when the first two hitters of the game reached on back-to-back singles and moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt to put runners at second and third with one out. Lantrip settled in and struck out the next two hitters to strand two and escape the inning without allowing East Carolina to score.
Houston scored first when it struck for two runs in the bottom of the second on two hits and a walk. Despite a leadoff double by Julks, Wong replaced him on the bag after a fielder's choice. With one out, Rice drew his team-leading 36th walk of the year and him and Wong would come around to score on a two-out double into right center by Fulmer to put the Cougars ahead, 2-0 early.
With two outs in the fifth, Houston extended its lead to 3-0 after Vidales walked, allowing Iriart to double him home on a two-bagger that found the left center wall for his 10th double of the season.
East Carolina broke open the scoreless outing by Lantrip with a solo homerun off the bat of Luke Lowery to make it 3-1 Houston.
The Cougars didn't let up offensively as they quickly responded with a crooked number in the bottom half of the inning, highlighted by a two-run homerun off the bat of Wong -- his sixth of the year, scoring Julks, who opened the inning with a leadoff walk.
East Carolina threatens again in the seventh, tallying two hits, but Lantrip works around the jam and strands the pair on the corners to keep Houston ahead, 5-1 heading into the latter half of the seventh.
Vidales and Iriart had back-to-back singles to open the seventh inning and after a Montemayor sacrifice bunt, Vidales scored on an RBI-groundout by Julks to extend the lead by five at 6-1.
Lantrip struck out two in the eighth to keep East Carolina at bay and send the Cougars back to bat with a five run lead, which they capitalized on with a four-run eighth inning on five hits, which saw four Cougars notched consecutive RBI in the effort.
The inning started with a single up the middle by Rice. He was out on a fielder's choice by Montemayor, but Fulmer moved runners to first and second after being hit-by-the-pitch. With one out, Survance and Vidales notched consecutive hits to drive in runs, which was followed up by an RBI-groundout by Iriart and an RBI-single by Campbell to cap the 10-run game for the Cougars.
Freshman Aaron Fletcher (1.0,0,0,0,0,1) pitched the ninth in relief of Lantrip and worked a hitless frame.
East Carolina starter Evan Kruczynski (5.1,6,5,5,4,2) suffered the loss, falling to 6-4 on the year after allowing five runs on six hits and four walks in 5.1 innings.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
Overall Andrew Lantrip's performance
"I thought Lantrip was outstanding again tonight. He didn't have his best stuff, but he was competitive. That is the key this time of the year -- just go out there and compete."
On Ashford Fulmer's two-out, two-run double in the second
"The big play of the game belonged to [Ashford] Fulmer driving in the first runs early. Our goal every game is to try and score first and he hit that big double and drove in two runs to set the tone for the day and it was big."
"It was a great team effort, a real offensive night. It was one that we were looking for and [Aaron] Fletcher came out of the bullpen and finished it for us."
Houston and East Carolina will continue its three-game series on Saturday with first pitch slated for 4 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.
Salute to Service Weekend
All active or past military (with ID) will receive $4 admission into each game -- only at Cougar Field ticket window.
Saturday -- 4 pm (Nationally-televised on CBS Sports Network) -- First 250 Fans -- Salute to Service Rally Towel
Sunday -- Noon
Single game tickets for the remaining five home games at Cougar Field can be purchased by clicking here: UHCougars.com/Basetickets.
Along with the online option, fans can purchase tickets by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office at TDECU Stadium Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or can call 713-GO-COOGS.
Houston Baseball offers variable pricing on its single-game tickets and group rates.
For the first time ever, the pricing breakdown will be determined whether or not you purchase your single-game tickets online vs. at the gate the day of the game as well as whether the Cougars play on a weekday (Monday-Thursday) or weekend (Friday-Sunday).
Weekday: Monday-Thursday; Weekend: Friday-Sunday.
As noted in the table, variable pricing occurs. For weekday (Tuesday nights) online purchases, fans can take in a game, ranging from $5-$7 depending on the choice of seating. If you choose to purchase the day of the game as a Weekday Walk-Up, you will pay roughly $2 more than the online price ($7-$9).
Weekend (Friday-Sunday) online pricing will range from $6-$8 per game, while Weekend Walk-Up pricing the day of the game will run a fan anywhere from $8-$10.
Group rates are also available (as noted in the table). Weekday (Tuesday) and Weekend (Friday-Sunday) pricing occurs. Groups of 10-24 are set at $4-$5 per person, while groups of 25+ are $3-$4 per person.
HOW TO PURCHASE
To purchase tickets in advance, fans must visit the Athletics Ticket Stadium Office located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1 off Cullen Boulevard. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m. or you can call 713-GO-COOGS.
JOIN THE DUGOUT CLUB
Nationally-ranked Houston Baseball would like to encourage those wishing to support the efforts and success of the baseball student-athletes to consider joining the Dugout Club for as low as $25 a month or $300 annually.
For a minimum monthly installment of $25 or a minimum one-time gift of $300, supporters can take advantage of the Pinch Hitter level, which will guarantee an invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball team apparel.
For a minimum monthly installment of $100 or a minimum one-time gift of $1,000, supporters can take advantage of the Diamond level, which will guarantee batting practice passes for two to any home game, invitation for two to exclusive Dugout Club events and Houston Baseball apparel.
**Cougar Pride points will be applied accordingly.
For more information on joining the Dugout Club, please contact the Houston Baseball office at (713) 743-9396.
For more information regarding Cougar Pride, please call (713) 743-GOUH.
Stay up to date with all Houston Baseball news and highlights by following us on Twitter @UHCougarBB or on Facebook at /HoustonCougarBaseball. Fans can also follow head coach Todd Whitting @toddwhitting on Twitter.