May 13, 2014
No. 12 HOUSTON
No. 14 RICE
SUGAR LAND, Texas - No. 12 Houston Baseball grabbed the early lead and never looked back as it went on to earn the Silver Glove Series season sweep of No. 14 Rice with its 7-3 win on Tuesday evening at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas.
With the win, the Cougars reached the 40-win mark for the first time since 42 wins back in 2008. Improving to 40-13 on the season and winning its seventh straight game, Houston swept Rice, who fell to 34-17 on the year. The season sweep was the first season sweep over Rice since the 1991 season where the Cougars went 3-0.
The Silver Glove Series began back with a 3-0 win on Feb. 19 at Reckling Park, continued with a 6-2 victory on March 25 at Cougar Field and concluded with the 7-2 win tonight at Constellation Field in Sugar Land.
In tonight's win, the Cougars scored early and never trailed the Owls after plating two runs in the first inning. Pitching was key down the stretch as Houston relied heavily on two arms in freshman starter Andrew Lantrip and junior reliever Jared Robinson.
The duo combined to hold Rice to just eight hits and three runs, including four shutout frames to end the game. Lantrip (4.1,6,3,3,3,2,3) made his third straight midweek start, allowing three runs on six hits in 4.1 innings, while striking out three and walking just two. He handed the ball over the Robinson in the fifth with the Cougars up 7-3 with runners at second and third.
Robinson (4.2,2,0,0,1,3) made his 19th appearances out of the bullpen this year and made his first since May 2 vs. UCF. The right-hander was impressive, tossing 4.2 shutout innings, allowing just two hits and one walk to his three strikeouts.
Offensively, the Cougars posted seven hits, led by a two-hit, three-RBI night by freshman Connor Hollis. The Arlington, Texas native has now driven in five RBI in the last two Houston games. He finished 2-for-3 with three RBI.
Adding to the hit column for Houston was sophomore Kyle Survance (1x4), junior Michael Pyeatt (1x4, 2 R), senior Frankie Ratcliff (1x4, R) and senior Casey Grayson (1x4, 2 RBI). With Grayson's hit, the first baseman has now reached base safely in 26 consecutive games.
Houston took advantage of six walks and three Rice errors to score two in the first and five in the fifth for its seven runs.
Houston scratched across two early runs in the first inning on two hits and an error to go ahead Rice, 2-0.
Lantrip allowed just one run in the first two innings on the bump, but a leadoff solo homerun in the third trimmed the Owls' deficit to one run at 2-1.
A five-run fifth inning lifted Houston ahead of the Owls at 7-1 when back-to-back walks from Pyeatt and Grayson reached. Montemayor then placed a perfect sacrifice bunt down to advance the runners before Ratcliff was intentionally walk to load the bases.
Hollis came through with a clutch two-run single to break open the 2-1 game and put Houston up 4-1 with one out in the fifth. The inning continued with three more runs following a walk by Vidales and back-to-back RBI from Fulmer and pinch hitter Lueneburg, accompanying a score on a wild pitch.
Rice struck for two runs of its own in the latter half of the inning on three hits, including a two-run triple.
Playing through three scoreless frames, Robinson was lights out, helping Houston preserve the early lead and never look back. Rice threatened once late after the first two hitters reached in the eighth, via a leadoff walk and double to put runners at second and third with no outs and Houston ahead 7-3. Robinson didn't back down as the junior fanned the next hitter looking and then induced two consecutive groundouts.
Rice: John Clay Reeves, Skyler Ewing, Shane Hoelscher, Matt Dittman, Jon Duplantier,
MVP: Tyler Ford, Houston (went 2-0 with 10.0 shutout innings in Games 1 and 2 of series)
"We beat a really good team tonight. I'm really proud of our guys, coming off a tough weekend. I know they are worn out, and I know they were playing off adrenaline, but they played so hard tonight. I couldn't be more proud of them. We had chances to lose that game, and let that thing get away from us, but we never let up. We had some guys really step up. (Connor) Hollis was big for us defensively, and offensively. JRob (Jared Robinson) came in to help (Andrew) Lantrip, who was awesome tonight in the starting role. The whole team played really well, and I'm really proud of them."
On bringing the Silver Glove back to the University of Houston
"I'm excited to have it. It's been a long time since we won the Silver Glove. They are a good team, and they have as good a team as they've ever had. We're just fortunate enough to win it this year. We're really proud of our kids."
On coming in to hold the game
"I was just trying to come in and just throw strikes, and trust the defense. We have good guys behind me, and we're just taking it one pitch at a time. That's what we do best."
On sweeping the season series against Rice
"It's huge for us to get the win tonight. They are our rivals, and they've had the Silver Glove for a long time. It's time that it comes home. It's always good to get a win, but it's sweeter when it's against a rival."
Stay up to date with all Houston Baseball news and highlights by following us on Twitter @UHCougarBB or on Facebook at /HoustonCougarBaseball. Fans can also follow head coach Todd Whitting @toddwhitting on Twitter.
Houston will embark on its final regular season series this weekend when it travels to Camden, N.J. to take on Temple in a three-game set, beginning Thursday at 2 p.m. CT. The series will continue on Friday at 2 p.m. CT and conclude on Saturday at 10 a.m. CT.