May 21, 2014
No. 12 HOUSTON
CLEARWATER, Fla. - No. 12 Houston Baseball used a dominating pitching performance from freshman Andrew Lantrip and senior Tyler Ford en route to its ninth shutout of the year, a 3-0 win, over Temple in its American Athletic Conference Championship opener on Wednesday afternoon at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.
The nine shutouts by the Houston pitching staff is now the most in a single season since the Cougars tallied 12 back in 1991. With the win, Houston improved to 42-14 and has won nine of its last 10 contests.
The win put Houston up 1-0 in the American Baseball Championship with two pool games left to play in its pod (vs. UConn (0-1) and vs. UCF (1-0).
It was the work of the Houston pitching duo of Lantrip and Ford, accompanied by several impressive defensive plays that led the Cougars to a 3-0 shutout. Despite only tallying eight hits, the Cougars were able to take advantage of four Temple errors, which led to all three runs.
Lantrip (5.2,2,0,0,2,7) made just his fourth career start and didn't disappoint as the righty threw 5.2 shutout innings, allowing just two scattered hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in the win to improve to 6-0 on the year.
Ford (3.1,3,0,0,1,2) worked around several jams and was able to escape without allowing a run in a gutsy 3.1 innings out of the pen to earn his fourth save of the year.
Houston tallied eight hits, led by sophomore Josh Vidales with a two-for-three effort with two of the three runs scored, while stealing a base. Adding to the hit column and driving in a run were sophomores Kyle Survance (1x4, RBI) and Justin Montemayor (1x4, RBI).
Junior Michael Pyeatt (1x3, R) recorded a hit in his first at-bat to extend his on-base streak to a consecutive 20 games, while freshman Connor Hollis (1x4) and seniors Casey Grayson (1x3, BB) and Frankie Ratcliff (1x4) each contributed with a base hit.
Houston used a one-out single by Pyeatt, a fielding error by Temple and an RBI-single by Montemayor to take an early 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the first inning.
The Cougars then grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second when Vidales beat out an infield single, stole and second and took third on a throwing error and then later scored on a two-out RBI-single off the bat of Survance.
Lantrip retired all nine batters the first go-around through the lineup, striking out five, before allowing his first hit - a single to open the fourth. In that frame, the freshman allowed the leadoff single and a one-out walk to put a runner in scoring position, but he then induced a foul out to third base and an inning-ending flyout to right field to keep the Owls off the board.
Another Temple error led to another Houston run in the fifth when Vidales singled and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Appling and third on a groundout by Survance, later scoring on an error that Pyeatt reached on to put Houston up 3-0.
Temple threatened again in the sixth with a walk and two-out single to put runners at first and second. After a sharp 5.2 innings of work, Lantrip hands the ball over to teammate Ford for one pitch, inducing an inning-ending popout to Vidales at second.
The Owls made it interesting in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out on Ford. However, the senior worked around the jam and induced a ground ball that found Hollis' glove, where he stepped on third and threw across the diamond to Grayson, who made a nice pick to keep Temple off the board and send Houston back to bat.
Temple starter Matt Hockenberry (8.0,8,3,0,2,6) went the distance, but fell to 5-6 with the loss after allowing eight hits and two walks and no earned runs, while striking out six.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
"That's been our way of playing all season long. We pitch lights out, score just enough runs and make a few plays behind the pitcher. Escaping that seventh-inning bases-loaded jam was huge. That was the turning point of the game."
On moving forward
"Right now I think we control our destiny as far as hosting a regional. If we win the tournament, I think we are a lock to host. If we don't, we are right there on the bubble with a lot of great teams. The main focus for us is to come out and go 1-0 tomorrow and see what happens."
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No. 3-seed Houston will take on No. 7-seed UConn in Game 2 of the American Athletic Conference Championship in Clearwater, Fla. at 10 a.m. CT on Thursday at Bright House Field.