Aaron Garza earns win No. 5 with six strikeouts
May 12, 2013
HOUSTON -- A six-run third inning and another strong pitching outing led Houston Baseball to a series win over UAB following a convincing 9-4 victory on Sunday afternoon at Cougar Field.
Win: Aaron Garza (5-4)
Loss: Alex Luna (1-4)
NUMBERS OF NOTE
3 With a 3x5 day at the plate, junior shortstop Frankie Ratcliff now has back-to-back games with three hits.
6 The Cougars scored all six of their second-inning runs with two outs.
20 With his first inning single, freshman Kyle Survance extended his consecutive games of reaching base safely streak to 20.
With the win, Houston improved to 33-19 and 11-10 in C-USA play, while UAB fell to 19-33 and 5-16 with the loss.
Houston earned its second straight league series win, capping off a nine-hit day, which also saw the Cougars force six UAB errors defensively.
Leading the way with his second straight three-hit game was junior Frankie Ratcliff (3x5, 2 R, RBI), who drove in a run and scored twice to accompany his double and two singles.
Freshman Kyle Survance (2x5, 2 R) also notched another multi-hit game and scored twice, while reaching base for the 20th straight game with his infield bunt single in the first inning.
Fellow freshman Jacob Campbell (2x4, R, RBI) drove in a run and scored on his two hits, while junior Caleb Barker (1x4, R, 2 RBI) plated two RBI on his single down the left field line and junior Landon Appling (1x3, R, 2 RBI) also drove in two on a double off the left field wall.
Other Cougars picking up an RBI were sophomore Michael Pyeatt (0x3, R, RBI, BB) on a bases loaded walk and junior Jonathan Davis (0x3, RBI, SF) on a sacrifice fly.
Sophomore starter Aaron Garza (7.0,8,3,1,4,6) worked 7.0 solid innings en route to his fifth win to improve to 5-4, following a one earned run, eight hit, four walk outing with a career-tying six strikeouts.
Sophomore reliever Ryan Vruggink (2.0,3,1,1,0,2) fanned two in his 2.0 productive innings out of the pen, surrendering just three hits, two of which were weak grounders, and allowing just one run with no walks.
After UAB scratched a run across to open the game, Houston responded with two hits off the bats of Survance and Ratcliff and two runs in the first, which included a sacrifice fly by Davis.
Garza settled in to throw three scoreless innings, sending the Cougars to the plate in the third with a one-run lead. Houston exploded for a six-run third, scoring all six with two outs as Barker, Campbell and Appling had back-to-back BRI hits, while Pyeatt drew a bases loaded RBI-walk.
UAB plated a run in each of the fifth and sixth innings to make it an 8-3 game, but Houston responded to regain its six-run advantage at 9-3 following an RBI-double by Ratcliff with two outs, scoring Appling, who reached on an error to open the frame.
The Blazers scored in the top of the ninth, but Vruggink was able to close the door with his second strikeout looking to end an inning - the eighth of the day by Houston pitching.
UAB starter Alex Luna (2.2,7,8,7,2,1) suffered the loss, falling to 1-4 after allowing seven earned runs on seven hits and two walks with one strikeout.
HEAD COACH Todd Whitting
On today's win
"When we scored six runs in the third -that's when we opened things up. (Aaron) Garza pitched well, and (Ryan) Vruggink pitched well out of the bullpen today. I felt like we let up a little bit momentum wise late in the game. Overall winning two out of three to win the series is something you can't complain about."
On getting the series win
"It was a big series win for us. We came out playing hard on Friday, but they were able to come back and get a win. That happening - really fired us up, and we came out the next couple of days to get two big wins."
On you approach at the plate
"Coach and I have been working on getting pitches to hit and not missing out on those opportunities. I've been trying to take what the pitchers give me, and hitting the ball where it's pitched. Luckily it's been working for me, and I feel good at the plate."
On getting a win today
"Great win for us today, and we had a great crowd out here on Mother's Day. The game today was just about competing for nine innings. That's what it usually comes down too. This is a big series win for us. We want to have a solid week of practice, and come out ready for Southern Miss."
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Houston will host Southern Miss in its final regular season series at Cougar Field, beginning Thursday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. The three-game set will continue at 6:30 p.m. Friday and wrap up at 1 p.m. Saturday as Cougar seniors Austin Pruitt, Ryan Bonnot and Matt Hernandez will be honored during pregame ceremonies.