CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Sophomore Grayson Padgett provided Houston Baseball with a memorable pinch-hit moment on Tuesday, belting a three-run home run in the eighth to lift the Cougars to a 6-5 win over (7) Memphis to open American Championship play at Spectrum Field.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 37-19 overall and moved to 1-0 in The American Baseball Championship this week in Clearwater.
(2) Houston will play the winner of either (3) UConn or (6) Cincinnati at 2 p.m. CT Thursday at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Fla. The game will air on the American Digital Network at www.theamerican.org/dn.
- Corey Julks has reached base in 18 straight games and Joe Davis in 16 straight.
- Houston has hit 51 home runs -- tying the most since 51 were hit back in 2008.
- Jake Scheiner belted his conference-leading 16th home run of the season to tie the game 1-1 in bottom of the first.
- Scheiner became the first Cougar to hit at least 16 home runs in one season since Matt Weston hit 16 back in 2006.
- Grayson Padgett belted his second home run of the year -- a three-run, pinch-hit home run that put the Cougars ahead 6-5 in the eighth.
- Julks stole his 14th base of the season.
Top Offensive Players
Grayson Padgett | 1x1, R, 3 RBI, HR (2)
Jake Scheiner | 1x3, 2 R, RBI, HR (16)
Corey Julks | 3x4, R, SB
Joe Davis | 1x3
Connor Wong | 1x5, RBI
Cooper Coldiron | 2x4, R, RBI, SB
Lael Lockhart Jr. | 1x3, R, SB
Houston out hit Memphis, 11-8, led by Grayson Padgett's pinch-hit, three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to put Houston on top, 6-5, for the win. Julks tallied a game-best three hit and scored a run, while American Player of the Year Jake Scheiner belted his conference-leading 16th home run of the year -- a solo shot in the first. Cooper Coldiron added two hits and drove in a run, while Connor Wong doubled and plated a run.
Carter Henry | 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 5 K
Brayson Hurdsman | 2.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
(W) Nolan Bond | 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
(SV) Aaron Fletcher | 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Freshman Carter Henry made his sixth start of the year and his first career start in postseason play. The righty allowed three runs on three hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 5.0 innings of work.
Henry handed the ball over to fellow freshman Brayson Hursdamn, who worked 2.1 innings in relief, allowing just one earned run on five hits with three strikeouts. Sophomore Nolan Bond took over in the eighth and retired the final two hitters he faced. He would earn the win, improving to 2-0 on the year.
Sophomore Aaron Fletcher entered the game with a runner at first with no outs in the top of the ninth and Houston ahead 6-5. He induced a double play ball for two outs before retiring the next hitter on a groundout to second base to end the game and earn his seventh save of the year.
1st | Memphis used a solo home run in the top of the first to take the early lead.
Houston would tie the game in the bottom half of the frame when Scheiner belted his conference-leading 16th home run of the year with two outs in the frame.
2nd | The Cougars would score again in the second to take a 2-1 lead after Lockhart singled, stole second and scored on a two-out RBI-double by Wong.
5th | Memphis would retake the lead with a two-run home run by Chris Carrier to make it a 3-2 game in favor of the Tigers.
8th | The Tigers extended their lead with a pair of runs in the eighth on an RBI-single and fielding error for the 5-2 lead.
Down by three with six outs to play with, the Cougars began chipping away at Memphis' lead in the eighth when Scheiner led off the frame being hit. A single up the middle by Julks put runners at first and second. A flyout followed and with one out, a wild pitched moved both Scheiner and Julks up a base. Coldiron would single and score Scheiner to make it 5-3.
Todd Whitting chose to pinch hit Padgett with one out in the eighth and two runners on and he delivered, driving a ball off the right field foul pole for a three-run home run, scoring Julks and Coldiron -- giving the Cougars the late lead at 6-5.
Memphis fell to 29-28 on the season with the loss. The Tigers tallied eight hits, led by Chris Carrier's two-hit day, driving in a pair of runs on a home run. Reliever Connor Alexander suffered the loss out of the bullpen, allowing four runs on three hits in 0.1 innings. He fell to 6-4 on the season.
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