May 17, 2013
HOUSTON - University of Houston Baseball bounced back from an early deficit to earn a 7-5 win over Southern Miss, while notching the series victory and win No. 35 on the year on Friday evening at Cougar Field.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
11 Junior closer>Chase Wellbrock earned his team-leading 11th save and eighth in C-USA play.
13 Sophomore>Michael Pyeatt extended his on-base streak to 13 straight games with his fourth-inning double.
22 With his third-inning single, freshman>Kyle Survance extended his consecutive games of reaching base safely streak to 22.
31 Houston is now 31-1 on the year when leading after seven inning as junior>Chase Wellbrock picked up his 11th save.
With the victory, Houston improved to 35-19 and 13-10 and recorded its third straight series win down the stretch, while Southern Miss fell to 27-25 and 14-9 with the loss.
The Cougars tallied 11 hits in the victory as junior>Frankie Ratcliff, sophomore>Michael Pyeatt and freshman>Jacob Campbell each doubled in the effort.
Junior>Caleb Barker (1x3, 2 RBI, SAC BU) drove in two on a single and squeeze bunt, while freshman>Kyle Survance (2x4, R, RBI) and Pyeatt (2x3, R, RBI) each tallied an RBI on two hits. Campbell (2x3, R) picked up two hits, while freshman>Josh Vidales (1x5, RBI) and Ratcliff (1x3, R, RBI, SF) each drove in a run. Also picking up hits and scoring a run were juniors Landon Appling (1x4, R) and Jonathan Davis (1x4, R).
Survance's third-inning single extended his on-base streak to 22 straight games, while Pyeatt's fourth-inning double kept his on-base streak alive at now 13 games.
Despite falling down 3-0 in the third, the Cougars bounced back with three runs of their own in the latter half of the frame. The inning was sparked by a leadoff double by Campbell - which resulted in four hits, including back-to-back RBI from Survance and Ratcliff.
Tied at 3-3, Houston went on to plate runs in the fourth and fifth to take the lead and never look back. Cougar leadoff hitters set the tone for three straight innings as Pyeatt doubled to open the fourth and came around to score on a wild pitch after moving up a base on a single by Davis.
A two-run fifth began after Survance singled, stole second and third for his league-leading 18th and 19th stolen bases and scored on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Barker. Pyeatt then followed with a hard hit ball through the right side, plating Montemayor, who was intentionally walked.
Houston tacked on an insurance run in the seventh after Ratcliff opened the frame with a double and scored on a single into left center by Barker to put the Cougars up 7-3.
Southern Miss made the game interesting down the stretch with two runs in the eighth following a leadoff triple and two-run homerun. Senior reliever>Matt Hernandez (0.2,1,0,0,0,1) came in relief of sophomore>Ryan Vruggink and recorded two outs in the eighth and handed the ball over to junior closer>Chase Wellbrock (1.1,2,0,0,0,2), who closed the door, stranding runners at first and third in the top of the ninth up by two after two hits, including a leadoff double.
Senior starter>Austin Pruitt (7.0,9,3,2,1,4) recorded his ninth win (9-5) in his 14th start this season and final at Cougar Field. The righty allowed two earned runs on nine hits and one walk with four strikeouts in 7.0 quality innings of work. He has now lasted at least 6.0 innings in all 14 starts this season.
Wellbrock picked up his second save of the series, 11th of the year and eighth in C-USA play after shutting Southern Miss down with two strikeouts and just two hits in his 1.1 innings of work.
Houston forced Southern Miss starter Conor Fisk (4.2,9,6,4,2,0) out after 4.2 innings, surrendering four earned runs on nine hits and two walks to fall to 4-3 on the season.
HOUSTON HEAD COACH Todd Whitting
Thoughts on the game
"One thing about this group is they never quit. They are extremely resilient, and this time of year you have to play on emotion. We have some guys who are banged up, pitchers that are tired, but they are pitching on pure will. I couldn't be more proud of this group. That Southern Miss team is really good, and they were first place coming into this weekend for a reason. They are going to come at us hard tomorrow, and I expect us to match their intensity."
On making a postseason run
"Well you have to take it one game at a time, but we are doing everything we can to help our cause right now. Tomorrow will be a huge game, and I expect us to play with the same intensity we had today. We're not out of anything yet, and we just have to keep playing. That's what we've been doing, and we were down three early but I never worried they kept battling."
On your approach at the plate tonight
"I had a couple of really poor at bats early in the game, and I had a guy in scoring position late. My focus was to drive him in, and get insurance runs for the team. I got a fastball over the middle of the plate, and I didn't miss it. Lately I haven't been putting the barrel on the ball, but tonight I was able to get the job done."
Momentum heading into tomorrow
"Right now we are fighting and clawing our way. We know we have to control what we can control in ballgames. It's fun to play at home, and win a series."
SENIOR DAY SATURDAY
· Senior Day | Pregame (beginning around 12:30 pm)
· Help us honor our three departing seniors:>Austin Pruitt, Ryan Bonnot and>Matt Hernandez.
Single-game tickets begin as low as $6 for youth and $8 for adults in general admission seating (Level 200) and as low as $8 for youth and $10 for adults in reserved seating (Level 100). CLICK HERE to purchase tickets or call the Houston Athletics Ticket Office at (713) GO-COOGS.
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 and Southern Miss will wrap up the series at 1 p.m. Saturday at Cougar Field. Seniors>Austin Pruitt, Ryan Bonnot and>Matt Hernandez will be honored during pregame ceremonies for their contributions as a Cougar.