Houston Baseball Completes Road Sweep at UConn
May 11, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - No. 13 Houston Baseball used a convincing 7-2 win in Game 2 of the American Athletic Conference series and a come-from-behind 8-4 victory over UConn on Sunday to finish off the weekend road sweep, improving to 39-13 on the year.
The 39 win total is the most wins in a season since tallying 42 back in 2008 as the Cougars won their sixth straight game and notched their 10th weekend series victory of the year and fourth straight in conference play. The three-game sweep was the first conference road sweep since a 3-0 sweep at Tulane back on April 1-3, 2011. The Cougars are now 13-8 in conference play with three league games left in the regular season.
HOUSTON 7, UCONN 2 | Box Score (PDF)
The Cougars saw their second-straight dynamic pitching performance as sophomore Jake Lemoine (5.0,6,2,2,0,8) fanned eight, one shy of tying his career-best, while allowing just two runs on six hits in a shortened 5.0 inning effort. With that winning performance, the righty improved to 6-4 on the year.
Senior Tyler Ford (4.0,2,0,0,1,2) worked four scoreless frames in relief, allowing two hits and one walk with two strikeouts to earn his third save of the year.
Houston tallied 11 hits and forced UConn to make five errors.
Junior Michael Pyeatt and sophomore Josh Vidales each led Houston with two hits apiece, while seniors Casey Grayson (1x3, R, RBI), Landon Appling (1x3, RBI) and sophomore Justin Montemayor (1x5, RBI) each drove in a run on a hit.
Houston scored the game's first run when Ratcliff singled with two outs, setting up another scoring opportunity for Grayson - who continued his hot-hitting, doubling in Ratcliff to put the Cougars ahead 1-0. With that double Grayson extended his on-base streak to 24 consecutive games.
UConn would then tie the game on a solo homerun to hit off the right field foul pole to open the fourth, followed by a double, groundout and RBI-single to send the Huskies ahead 2-1 through four innings.
With two outs in the Houston fifth, Ratcliff reached on a fielding error and advanced to second when Grayson was intentionally walked. With two and two out, rain struck and lightening forced a little over an hour delay, which picked back up with Montemayor drilling a single into right field to plate Ratcliff, tying the game at 2-2. Grayson then came all the way around from second to score on a ball that Pyeatt reached on, forcing an error at second as the UConn fielder attempted to get Montemayor on the force play.
Up 3-2, Lemoine returned even after the delay to strike out two more - upping his total to eight. Houston added another run on a one-out RBI-single by Appling. Vidales opened the frame with a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Stading and stole third.
The game was then halted until Sunday morning in the top of the sixth with Appling at first and one out on the board for Survance at the plate.
It didn't take long for the Cougars to add to their lead from Saturday when Survance dropped down a sacrifice bunt and advanced on a throwing error, moving Fulmer to second. Fulmer, pinch running for Appling to resume the game, stole third and set up a scoring opportunity for the Cougars.
On a steal by Survance at third, a throwing error allowed Fulmer to cross home plate, moving Survance up to third as he later scored on a Grayson walk and delayed steal at second, accompanying another catcher throwing error.
Holding a 6-2 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth, Ford took over for Lemoine after the halted time and tossed a quick 1-2-3 frame to put Houston back at-bat.
Ford worked 4.0 scoreless frames, allowing Houston to extend its lead to 7-2 in the ninth on two hits and a UConn error.
UConn starter Jordan Tabakman (5.0,6,3,1,2,4) was tagged with the loss, falling to 3-4 after allowing one earned run on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 5.0 innings.
HOUSTON 8, UCONN 4 | Box Score (PDF)
Led by a 13-hit Game 3 effort and 6.1 shutout frames by Houston's relief pitching, the Cougars were able to keep UConn off the board and have a chance to win late.
Four Cougars led the charge with two hits apiece, while six Cougars contributed with at least one RBI.
Senior Casey Grayson (2x4, R, RBI) drove in a run, scored a run and tallied two hits to extend his on-base streak to 25 straight games. Sophomore Justin Montemayor (1x3, 2 R, RBI) drove in a clutch run on a double, while scoring two runs - joining sophomore Kyle Survance (1x4, R) and junior Michael Pyeatt (1x5, R) each with a hit and run scored.
Sophomore reliever Bubba Maxwell (3.1,1,0,0,0,2) went a Cougar career-long 3.1 innings out of the pen, holding UConn scoreless, while allowing just one hit and striking out two to give the Cougars a chance to score late.
Senior Chase Wellbrock (3.0,1,0,0,1,2) earned his third win of the year, improving to 3-0 with his 3.0 shutout frames in relief. The righty allowed just one hit and walked one, intentionally, while fanning two.
Junior David Longville (2.2,8,4,4,0,2) was roughed up a bit, allowing four runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings with two strikeouts, but finished with a no-decision.
The Cougars got things rolling with a three-run eighth inning when Ratcliff reached on a one-out single. A Grayson single then put runners at first and third for Montemayor, who doubled into right center to make it 4-2. The scoring continued when Hollis stung a ball through the right side with two outs to tie the game at 4-4.
With Wellbock on the bump in the eighth, UConn was held scoreless, sending the Cougars to the ninth knotted at 4-4. Houston used a leadoff single by Pyeatt, sac bunt by Lueneburg, who reached on the error and a base hit bunt single by Survance to load the bases. Ratcliff worked the go-ahead RBI-walk to put Houston up 5-4. A sacrifice fly by Grayson then scored Lueneburg and an intentional walk to Montemayor loaded the bases back up with one out for Barker, who doubled down the line to give Houston the 8-4 lead.
UConn jumped all over Houston early with two runs on four hits in the first inning. The Huskies then added two more runs in the third on a three hits, including an RBI-double that found the left field line.
Houston scratched across a run in the second on an RBI-groundout by Vidales after Montemayor and Barker drew back-to-back walks to open the inning, while moving up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Hollis.
Maxwell took over for Longville with two outs in the third and was able to induce an inning-ending groundout. He then returned to pitch a scoreless fourth, fifth and sixth before allowing a leadoff single in the seventh with the Cougars down 4-1. He handed the ball over to Wellbrock, who lasted the final three innings, shutting the Huskies down without any potential threat.
UConn reliever David Mahoney (0.1,2,3,2,0,0) suffered the loss out of the pen, falling to 2-4 on the year.