May 14, 2002
WACO, Texas - The University of Houston baseball team displayed some early power on the way to five runs and held off a late rally in taking a 5-4 win over 17th-ranked Baylor on Tuesday at Baylor Ballpark.
The Cougars (38-14) jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first three innings with two home runs accounting for three runs before Baylor rallied for four runs in the final three innings, including two in the bottom of the ninth. However, that would be all the Bears would score for the rest of the night
UH recorded its third straight win over Baylor this season and its fifth straight overall while Baylor lost its second straight game and fell to 34-19 overall.
UH starter Danny Zell won his sixth straight game after scattering six hits in five scoreless innings of work. Reliever Jesse Crain set a new school single-season record with his eighth save of the year after recording the final out for the Cougars.
Baylor starter Steven White dropped to 5-3 after giving up six hits and five runs in 6.2 innings despite striking out a season-best nine batters.
The Cougars return to action in a three-game series against Conference USA rival TCU, beginning on Thursday and continuing through Saturday. All three games will begin at 7 p.m. at Cougar Field. The series features the first-place Cougars and the third-place Horned Frogs in the last regular-season C-USA series of the year.
Fans can catch the action on KGBC Radio 1540 AM or through the Internet at www.kgbcradio.cc.
Thanos Papavasiliou led the Cougar offense with two RBIs on a two-run homer during a 1-for-3 performance. Hyung Cho added a solo home run in the second inning. Brett Cooley went 0-for-2 with a pair of runs and saw his UH season-best 22-game hitting streak come to an end.
UH took a 2-0 lead in its at-bat, thanks to two hits and a key Baylor error. Chris Snyder started the rally with a single through the left side and moved to second base after a walk to Cooley. Papavasiliou then laced a sharp ground ball that went between the legs of Baylor shortstop Trey Webb, allowing Snyder to score.
Crain ripped a single to center field to score Cooley and give the Cougars a two-run cushion.
One inning later, Cho blasted the first pitch he saw from White over the left field fence for a 3-0 Cougar lead.
In the third inning, UH used power from an unlikely source to take a 5-0 lead. After Cooley was hit by a White offering, Papavasiliou launched an opposite-field shot over to left field for the first homer of his collegiate career.
Baylor cut into the UH lead with a pair of runs in the seventh inning. Chris Durbin led off with a single down the right field line and eventually scored on Josh Ford's sacrifice fly, while Eric Errante pulled the Bears to within three runs after a double in right center.
The Bears added another run in the ninth inning on Paul Richmond's pinch-hit RBI-double and pulled to within one run on Ross Bennett's double down the left field line. But Crain forced Webb to pop out in the infield for the final out.