May 26, 2005
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - University of Houston sophomore reliever Shea Hancock held UAB hitless over 4.2 shutout innings to help lead the Cougars to a 7-5 win in an elimination game at the 2005 Conference USA Tournament presented by PowerAde at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.
Hancock, who collected his first collegiate win and snapped a five-game losing streak dating back to his freshman season in 2004, struck out five batters. The Houston native entered the game in the third inning with the Cougars trailing 5-1 and allowed only two baserunners the rest of the way.
His pitching performance kept the Cougars in the ball game until the fifth inning when UH erupted for five hits. After drawing a leadoff walk, Brad Lincoln moved to second base following Brian Temko's single through the right side. Bryan Tully was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Bryan Pounds single through the left side scored Lincoln and pulled the Cougars to within 5-2.
Chris Joseph was hit in the head by another pitch, allowing Temko to trot home with UH's third run of the game. Two batters later, Travis Tully slapped a two-run single up the middle to score Bryan Tully, no relation, and Pounds and knot the game at 5-5. Kevin Roberts then reached on an error, which allowed Joseph to score and give the Cougars a 6-5 lead.
In the seventh inning, UH pushed its lead to 7-5. Lincoln drew a leadoff walk and moved into scoring position on Dustin Kingsbury's single up the middle. After a strikeout and UAB pitching change, pinch hitter Matt Farrington blasted a double to deep center field for a 7-5 Cougar lead.
UAB starter Heath Tapscott took the loss and dropped to 3-3 after giving up six runs (five earned) off six hits with a pair of strikeouts in 3.1 innings.
Junior closer Justin Vaclavik allowed two hits but struck out four and kept the Blazers scoreless over the final two innings to collect his team-leading 11th save of the season. With that total, he moved into sole possession of second place in UH single-season history. The Bay City, Texas, native also moved into a tie with Larry Coker for second place in UH career history with 12 saves.
Travis Tully went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs to lead the Cougar offense, which outhit UAB 11-7. Sophomore shortstop Dustin Kingsbury went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and catcher Brett Logan finished the day 2-for-4.
UAB outfielder Clint Toomey went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI as the Blazers' only multi-hit performer.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 28-29 overall and will meet East Carolina game at 3 p.m., Friday afternoon. UAB dropped to 31-27 overall.
The game can be heard live on the Internet at www.UHCougars.com with former UH letterwinners Nick Torina and Pat Cauley calling all the action. In addition, fans can follow all the play-by-play action by clicking on the "Live Stats" link at www.UHCougars.com.
The Cougars grabbed the lead in their first at bat. After lacing a single into left field and moving to second on a groundout, Kevin Roberts scored easily on Dustin Kingsbury's RBI-single up the middle.
UAB broke the game open in the third inning, sending 10 batters to the plate on the way to scoring five runs. Ryan Metcalf and Nathan McCorkle blasted RBI-doubles, while Clint Toomey and Zac Ward rapped out RBI-singles. The Blazers also took advantage of a passed ball to score their final run of the frame and take a 5-1 lead.