May 12, 2002
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Gene Flores scattered four hits and two runs in the first 6.1 innings, and Brett Cooley went 3-for-4 to help lead the University of Houston baseball team to a 3-2 win Sunday over Charlotte in the finale of a three-game Conference USA series at Phillips Field.
With the win, the Cougars remained atop the C-USA standings with a 19-7 mark in league play and could move into sole possession of first place if Southern Mississippi lost to East Carolina on Sunday afternoon. The Cougars also improve to 37-14 overall while Charlotte dropped to 19-31 overall and 9-18 in league play.
Reliever Jesse Crain kept the Charlotte offense in check over the final 2.2 innings to record his team-leading seventh save of the year and tie the UH single-season record in that category. Flores, who improved to 3-2 with the win, held Charlotte scoreless with only three hits through the game's first six innings. The Corpus Christi, Texas, native also struck out two in the win.
The Cougar offense pounded out 13 hits in the win as Cooley led the way and extended his hitting streak to a UH season-best 22 straight games. Chris Snyder also went 2-for-3 with two runs, and Sam Mitchell went 3-for-4 with an RBI that gave UH an early advantage in the second inning.
The Cougars return to action Tuesday in their final non-conference game of the year when they travel to Waco, Texas, to meet Baylor at 7 p.m. Fans can catch the action on KGBC Radio 1540 AM or through the Internet at www.kgbcradio.cc.
UH struck for the game's first run in the second inning. After Thanos Papavasiliou's infield single and Crain reached base after being hit by a pitch, Mitchell lifted a looping RBI single over the head of the Charlotte first baseman to score Papavasiliou.
The scored remained that way until the seventh inning when the Cougars gave themselves a 3-0 cushion. Keith Ahrens and Michael Bourn rapped out back-to-back singles to lead off the inning and moved up one base on a wild pitch from Savage. With the infield playing in, Snyder ripped a single up the middle to score both runners and give the Cougars a lead they would never relinquish.
However, Charlotte answered in the bottom of the inning with a pair of runs. Brian Bowman laced a single to left field to score Alex Derhak, and Adam Williard's RBI-single to center field plated Nick Blackmon to cut the UH advantage back to one run at 3-2. However, that would be all the 49er offense would muster the rest of the day.