Baseball Holds off Late Rally at Charlotte in Series-Opening Win
May 13, 2005
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - University of Houston junior southpaw Matt Farrington struck out a career-high eight batters while holding Charlotte to only one run off five hits in seven innings of work to help lead the Cougars to a 7-5 win over the 49ers in the opener of a Conference USA series Friday at Tom and Lib Phillips Field.
Farrington, who improved to 7-4 with the win and snapped a personal three-game losing streak, struck out at least one batter in six of the first seven innings and retired seven of the last nine batters that he faced.
Offensively, the Cougars exploded for 15 runs with all but one starter recording at least one hit in the game. The Cougars jumped out to a 6-1 lead after seven innings and then held off a late rally as the 49ers scored four runs in their final two at bats.
With the win, the Cougars won for the sixth time in their last seven games and improved to 24-25 overall, 14-10 in C-USA play. In addition, the Cougars clinched a berth in the 2005 C-USA Tournament presented by POWERade, hosted by Southern Miss on May 25-29. Charlotte dropped to 26-21 overall, 9-15 in C-USA games.
Reliever Justin Vaclavik picked up his team-leading 10th save of the season after holding the 49ers to two unearned runs off two hits with a strikeout in 1.1 innings. His save total tied with Jesse Crain (2002) for the second-most in UH single-season history and moved Vaclavik into a tie with Al Benavides for third place in school career history with 11 saves.
Freshman outfielder Bryan Tully went 2-for-5 with a run and two RBIs and has hit safely in each of his last nine games. Freshman infielder Bryan Pounds went 2-for-3 with a run. Junior infielder Kevin Roberts went 2-for-2 with a homer, double, run and RBI and has now reached safely in each of his last 12 plate appearances.
Charlotte starter Derek McDaid picked up the loss and dropped to 5-3 after giving up six runs (five earned) off 11 hits with a pair of strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
Outfielder Adam Willard went 2-for-4 with a run, while first baseman Spencer Steedley batted 2-for-4 with a double and RBI to lead the 49ers. Infielder Cory Lane also went 2-for-3 with two runs and a homer.
The series continues at 1 p.m. (CDT) before wrapping up at 11 a.m. (CDT), Sunday. Both games can be heard live on KGBC 1540 AM or on the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with former UH letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. In addition, fans can follow all the play-by-play action by clicking on the Gametracker link at www.UHCougars.com.
The Cougars struck for the game's first runs in the third inning with a pair of runs off four hits. After leading off with an infield single and stealing second base, Travis Tully scored easily on Dustin Kingsbury's single up the middle. Brad Lincoln blasted a double off the center-field wall and Kevin Roberts drew a walk to load the bases, before Brian Temko's single through the left side plated Kingsbury for a 2-0 UH lead.
UH pushed its lead to 3-0 in their next at bat. Bryan Pounds led off with a looping double down the right field line and moved up a base following Kori Williams' sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Bryan Tully lifted a sacrifice fly into right field to score Pounds.
Roberts gave the Cougars a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning after blasting an 0-1 pitch over the left-field wall.
Charlotte put its mark on the scoreboard in the fifth inning when Cory Lane blasted a solo shot off the scoreboard in right center.
However, UH answered in their next at bat with a pair of runs of its own. Bryan Tully started the rally with a one-out single and moved into scoring position following a passed ball. Kingsbury then plated Bryan Tully with another single up the middle to knock McDaid out of the game. Following a pitching change, Lincoln blasted another double to deep center field, scoring Kingsbury from third base and giving the Cougars a 6-1 advantage.
In the eighth inning, the 49ers took advantage of two hits and a Cougar infield error to score two more runs and trim the UH lead to 6-3.
In the ninth inning, Brett Logan was hit by a pitch and moved to second following Pounds' sacrifice bunt. Three batters later, Bryan Tully slapped an RBI-single up the middle to score Logan and cap the Cougar scoring for the night.
In the bottom of the ninth, the 49ers staged a rally and threatened the Cougar lead. Charlotte loaded the bases with two outs and scored a pair of runs on the Cougars' second error of the night. The 49ers continued to rally and appeared ready to tie the game, but Garrett Hanselman's apparent single through the right side of the infield hit Kris Rochelle running to second base and ended the game.