HOUSTON -- Houston Baseball used a five-run first inning and an impressive and gutsy start by senior John King to claim a share of the American Athletic Conference regular-season title, following a 7-6 win over Cincinnati on Saturday at Schroeder Park.
With the win, the Cougars wrapped up the regular-season with a 36-19 overall record and a 15-9 mark in the American Athletic Conference. Houston and UCF claimed a share of the title, while the Cougars will enter the American Athletic Conference Championship as the No. 2 seed as UCF will play as the No. 1 seed based on the Knights winning the series vs. Houston.
(2) Houston will play (7) Memphis at 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday in Clearwater, Fla. at Spectrum Field. The game will air on the American Digital Network at www.theamerican.org/dn.
- Corey Julks has reached base in 17 straight games and Joe Davis in 15 straight.
- John King made his first start since April 23 and earned the win, moving to 6-1 on the year.
- Houston claimed its second regular-season title in last three years.
- Cougars notched 14th overall conference championship (9 regular-season, 5 tournament).
- Houston turned three double plays in the win.
- Houston finished the 2017 season with a 21-7 home record at Schroeder Park.
- Houston has now tallied 36-win seasons in five straight years under Todd Whitting.
Top Offensive Players
Jared Triolo | 1x4, 2 RBI
Grayson Padgett | 2x3, 2 R, RBI, BB
Corey Julks | 2x3, R, RBI, BB
Connor Hollis | 1x3, R, RBI, BB
Cooper Coldiron | 1x4, RBI
Connor Wong | 1x2, R
Jake Scheiner | 0x3, R, BB
Joe Davis | 0x3, R, RBI, BB
John Grimsley | 1x4
Houston tallied nine hits in Saturday's win, led by Jared Triolo, who drove in a pair of runs on a base hit. Grayson Padgett and Corey Julks each had a two-hit day and drove in a run, while Connor Hollis, Cooper Coldiron, and Joe Davis all tallied an RBI.
Senior John King made his first start since April 23 after he was out due to an injury. He bounced back and on senior day, was impressive. The southpaw went 7.0 innings, allowing just one earned run on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts to move to 6-1 on the year.
King let his defense work as the unit turned three double plays, including two to keep runners from scoring. Freshman Fred Villarreal made his 12th appearance of the year and ninth out of the bullpen in relief of King in the eighth. He tossed 2.0 innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits with one strikeout.
1st | Cincinnati jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after a leadoff double, error and RBI-groundout.
Houston didn't let the lead last for long, scoring five in the latter half. With one out, Padgett reached on an infield single, moved to second on a hit-by-pitch by Scheiner. A walk by Julks followed to load the bases before Davis tied the game with an RBI on a bases-loaded walk.
The inning continued when Hollis walked with bases loaded for the 2-1 lead and Coldiron grounded out to score Julks for a 3-1 lead with two outs. Triolo then came up big, driving in a pair of runs to extend the Cougars' lead to 5-1 early.
2nd | Cincinnati chipped away with another run in the second following a base hit and RBI-double.
4th | Houston scored twice in the fourth to make it a 7-2 game. With one out, Wong doubled and scored on a Padgett double right after. A laser off the left field wall by Julks would bring home Padgett for the two-run frame.
8th | Cincinnati made things extremely interesting in the eighth with a four-run frame on four hits and an error to make it a 7-6 game with an inning to play.
9th | Villarreal returned on the mound in the ninth and held the Bearcats to a 1-2-3 inning to help Houston to its regular-season title.
Cincinnati moves to 28-28 and wraps up regular-season play with a 10-14 record. The Bearcats out hit Houston, 11-9, led by Eric Santiago's bases-clearing double in the eighth. Starter Nathan Kroger suffered the loss, falling to 3-1 on the year.
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