May 13, 2011
HOUSTON - The University of Houston baseball team surrendered three runs in the ninth inning to give up a 4-3 lead, before falling to the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, 6-5, in the series opener Friday night at Cougar Field.
The Cougars took a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning. UH retired two batters but the Golden Eagles were able to load the bases, setting up B.A. Vollmuth's single up the middle that scored two runs. With runners at the corners, Vollmuth attempted to steal second and junior Jordan Mannisto snagged the toss in the attempted throw out and it allowed Brunty to score from third.
Trailing 6-4, Houston set itself up for a ninth inning comeback, putting its first two batters on base. Sophomore M.P. Cokinos attempted a bunt down the third base line that was picked up by USM first baseman Adam Doleac and when the throw to third, in an attempt to get senior Ryan Still out, sailed over the third baseman's head, Still scored and the runners moved to second and third. Senior Travis Trial came in to pinch hit for junior designated hitter Matt Creel and was intentionally walked to load the bases. Trailing 6-5, the Cougars had yet to record an out in the inning, giving themselves a chance to take back the lead but Southern Miss pitcher Collin Cargill struck out sophomore Chase Jensen and induced two fielder's choice plays to end the inning.
With the loss, Houston falls to 22-27 on the season and 9-10 in Conference USA play.
Junior Jared Ray made the start for UH, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings with a strikeout. Creel turned in 4.2 innings of relief, allowing two earned runs on four hits with one strikeout. Mannisto closed out the final two innings, giving up three earned runs on three hits with three strikeouts.
Still was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, while senior Joel Ansley added two hits and an RBI for the Cougars.
After four scoreless innings, Southern Miss jumped on the board first, scoring Isaac Rodriguez on Brunty's RBI single to third base in the fifth inning. Houston would answer in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead. Still lead off the inning with a single up the middle and senior Caleb Ramsey drew a walk to put two runners on base. Cokinos moved the pair into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher. Creel's ground out to second base would plate the first run and Ansley's double to right field gave UH the 2-1 edge.
Southern Miss would regain the lead in the eighth, 3-2, but just as they had before, UH answered in the bottom of the inning with two runs to take a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning.
The series against Southern Miss will continue at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and conclude at 1 p.m. Sunday. Prior to Saturday's contest, the UH baseball program will honor the seven members of its senior class. Those seniors include, Joel Ansley, Chase Dempsay, Taylor Hammack, Caleb Ramsey, Ryan Still, Ty Stuckey and Travis Trial.
Following the series against Southern Miss, the Cougars will play their final home game of the season against UTSA on May 17. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.