May 11, 2002
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Nathan Mitchell threw 6.0 innings of hitless relief, and Jesse Crain blasted two home runs as the University of Houston baseball team posted an 8-4 win over Charlotte on Saturday in game two of a Conference USA three-game series at Phillips Field.
Mitchell struck out a career-best-tying five batters with only one walk in the longest outing of his collegiate career. The Houston native dominated the 49er batters from the beginning, retiring 16 of the first 17 batters that he faced, and improved to 5-1 with the win.
Meanwhile, Crain led a powerful Cougar offense by going 3-for-5 with two home runs and two RBIs. He joined Brett Cooley and Chris Snyder as the only Cougars this season to post two home runs in a game and upped his tater total to nine this season.
The series wraps up at 11 a.m. (CDT) Sunday. Sunday's game time was moved up one hour from the original schedule earlier in the week due to the Cougar traveling arrangements. Fans can catch the action on KGBC Radio 1540 AM or through the Internet at www.kgbcradio.cc.
Charlotte (19-30, 9-17) jumped out to a 4-2 lead after the first three innings before UH exploded for four runs in the fifth and added single runs in the seventh and eighth innings for the final margin of victory.
Snyder went 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs and launched his 11th home run of the season in the fifth inning. Cooley also went 2-for-3 with two runs, two RBIs and his team-leading 15th homer of the year to extend his hitting streak to a UH season-best 21 straight games.
The Cougars struck for the game's first run in their first at-bat. After two quick outs to start the game, Snyder struck out but reached first base when a wild pitch on the third strike got away from Charlotte catcher Alex Derhak. After a walk to Cooley and Cole Bruce's infield single loaded the bases, Crain's ground ball was misplayed in the infield, allowing Snyder to score and give the Cougars an early lead.
Charlotte took its first lead of the series in the second inning when Brad Halvorson ripped a three-run shot over the left field wall after back-to-back singles from Derhak and Travis Hill. Cooley pulled the Cougars to within one on a solo home run to left field in the third inning.
But the 49ers pushed their lead back to two runs in the bottom of the inning when Brad Lamm launched his second homer to left field.
UH regained the lead in the fifth inning while displaying its team power. After a leadoff walk to Anthony Scalise, Snyder knotted the game at 4-4 with a home run to left field, his 11th of the year. Three batters later, Crain launched a monster shot to left field - his first of the game - to give the Cougars the lead again.
Hyung Cho started another rally in the fifth inning with a walk and moved to second after Gabe Lucas' infield single. Keith Ahrens walked to load the bases, and Bourn drew a bases-loaded walk to score Cho and give UH a 6-4 lead.
Crain struck again in the seventh inning with a deep home run to center to lead off the inning, and Snyder and Cooley ripped back-to-back doubles for another run in the eighth inning.