May 25, 2012
|Matt Hernandez||6.1||6||3||2||2||6||Chase Wellbrock||2.2||1||0||0||3||3|
|Jacob Lueneburg||4||1||2||1||0||1||Landon Appling||4||0||2||1||0||0||Chase Jensen||4||2||1||0||0||0||Jonathan Davis||4||1||1||0||0||0||Jake Runte||4||0||1||0||0||0||Price Jacobs||3||2||0||1||1||2|
NUMBERS OF NOTE
21 Landon Appling reached base safely in 21 straight games to end the 2012 season.
6 Matt Hernandez notched a career-high in strikeouts with six. He surpasses his previous high of five strikeouts that came in a 4.0-inning effort at East Carolina on April 5.
PEARL, Miss.--The University of Houston baseball team rode the arm of junior Matt Hernandez and jumped out to a convincing lead to secure a 7-3 season finale win at the C-USA Championship over Memphis on Friday evening at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss.
The Cougars concluded 2012 with an overall record of 18-35-1 and a 1-2 mark at the C-USA Championship, while Memphis fell to 31-27. Houston was the first team in the league's tournament to defeat the Tigers, while snapping their seven-game win streak. Memphis will go on to play in the C-USA Championship game on Sunday vs. UAB despite Houston's victory.
With the win, Houston also picked up its first win over Memphis this season, while earning its first win in a season finale dating back to the 1992 season where Houston defeated Texas Tech.
Houston rode the arm of junior lefty Matt Hernandez (6.1,6,3,2,2,6), who went on to pitch a career-long 6.1 innings as the Cougar starter, allowing just two earned runs on six hits and two walks. He went on to fan six Tigers for a career-best, surpassing his previous high of five strikeouts that came at East Carolina on April 5. Hernandez' performance was strong enough to earn him his first win in a Houston uniform, improving to 1-2 on the year.
Sophomore Chase Wellbrock (2.2,1,0,0,3,3) picked up his first save of his career in a gutsy effort, entering the game in the seventh inning with bases loaded. He worked out of the inherited jam, surrendering a walk before fanning Memphis' best two hitters in back-to-back plate appearances. The right-hander went on to toss 2.2 innings in relief, allowing just one hit and striking out three in key situations for Houston.
Houston tallied nine hits, seven coming in the middle innings. Senior Codey Morehouse led the Cougars at the plate in his last collegiate game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and a season-high three RBI. Junior Jacob Lueneburg added a 2-for-4 effort with a run scored and an RBI, while sophomore Landon Appling was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Appling went on to reach base in 21 consecutive games for the Cougars with his single in the third inning.
It was the Cougars who owned the night at the plate, producing two-three run innings in the fourth and fifth. The Cougars got on board in the second inning after Jacobs drew a two-out walk. He went on to score following a stolen base and an RBI-single by Morehouse.
Up 1-0, Hernandez didn't allow his first hit until the third inning as Houston extended its lead in the fourth with three runs on four hits off the bats of Lueneburg, Morehouse, Runte and Appling. Morehouse went on to plate two more in the inning for a season-high three RBI in the game.
Not backing down, the Cougars continued to show its presence at the plate with three more insurance runs on three hits in the fifth, led by back-to-back bunt singles by Jensen and Davis to open the frame. Lueneburg would then drive a ball up the middle, scoring the two, followed by an RBI-groundout by Jacobs, plating Cannon, who walked to load the bases.
Houston spotted Memphis two runs in the sixth and one in seventh, but was led by the arms of Hernandez and Wellbrock, escaping any threats by the dangerous Memphis' squad.
Houston Head Coach Todd Whitting: On closing out the season on a high note with a win...
"I'm really proud for our guys. We had a really tough tournament and I thought we played well for three games. I'm really happy that our senior class got to go out with a win. I never worried about us coming out flat today because every time you put a uniform on there's something to play for. You look back at the last three days and we're just a couple of situations away from being in the championship game on Sunday. This is a team that had a lot of tough breaks all year, but I'm really proud of the way we finished. Hopefully this will propel us going forward."
On Matt Hernandez's performance on the mound tonight...
"He did well. He had command of his fastball and he kept it down. He established a low strike away with his fastball early and we were getting the call from the umpire. He did a really good job of holding that and maintaining that throughout the game. He got a little tired there at the end, but I'm really proud of the job he did."
On finishing up his second year and the future of Houston baseball...
"Well I'm really excited about it. Going forward next season, this will be my staff's first year of a full recruiting class and the future looks really bright. We're going to have to dodge a few bullets with the draft, but that's a good thing. When you're signing good recruiting classes, you're going to have four, five or six guys like we do this year going forward that you're going to sweat out in the draft a little bit. It is high risk, high reward and hopefully it will pay off for us."
Houston junior LHP Matt Hernandez: On getting his first career win at Houston...
"I felt really good today. It's my first start in awhile. Everybody played hard and I have to give credit to the guys in the field. I got some run support behind me and that helped a lot too."
On if he did anything different on the mound once UH took the lead...
"I was able to settle in and get some breathing room. It really opened things up for us."
On what it meant to the senior class going out with a win...
"It was huge and I wanted to give them my best. I wanted to make sure that we went out with a bang and make it a good memory that we won the last one."
Houston Baseball will break for the Summer and host several Cougar Baseball Camps. For more information and to sign up, visit www.cougarbaseballcamp.com. Go Coogs!