May 14, 2011
HOUSTON - Freshman pitcher Dustin Fuerst pitched a career-long five innings to earn his first career win as a Cougar, guiding the University of Houston baseball team to a 6-5 win over Southern Miss Saturday night at Cougar Field. With the win, Houston evened the series against the Golden Eagles with the series finale set for 1 p.m. Sunday.
In five innings, Fuerst allowed just one run on one hit to improve to 1-0. He came in the game in relief for junior Jordan Lewis. Lewis turned in four innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts.
After a frustrating loss to the Golden Eagles in the series opener, head coach Todd Whitting was pleased with how his team turned things around in game two.
"We bounced back well after another tough lose," Whitting said. "The issues I had with the team after the game yesterday are that my expectations of the team and individual players are higher than their own sometime. My talk to them right before the game tonight was that you have to expect to have success. They expected to have success tonight. When you go out there and think and know you are going to win you're going to be successful. They need to always believe in themselves."
The Cougars jumped out to a commanding 5-0 lead in the second inning. Sophomore Chase Jensen led off the inning reaching base after being hit by a pitch. He would move to second on senior Joel Ansley's sacrifice bunt and scored on Cannon's double down the left field line. With two outs and the bases loaded, senior Ryan Still drew a walk that put the Cougars up 2-0. Ramsey then added to the UH lead with a two-RBI single through the right side of the field. That put runners at the corners and allowed Still to score on a wild pitch by Southern Miss starter Geoffrey Thomas.
Despite the lead, Houston allowed the Golden Eagles to score two runs in the fourth and fifth innings to pull within one, 5-4. USM would then tie the score, 5-5, after the leadoff batter drew a walk and scored on Kameron Brunty's single to right field in the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, freshman Landon Appling would lead off the inning with a single to center field. Still's sacrifice bunt moved him to second base and a wild pitch by Dillon Day put him at third. The Cougars would then regain the lead, for good 6-5, when Appling scored on Ramsey's sacrifice fly to right field.
With the win, Houston improves to 23-27 on the season and 10-10 in Conference USA play.
The series against Southern Miss will conclude at 1 p.m. Sunday. 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.