CLEARWATER, Fla. - Houston Baseball used a Joe Davis grand slam and dominating pitching from Seth Romero and Nick Hernandez to edge top-seeded Tulane, 5-3 on Thursday afternoon to advance in the winner's bracket of the American Baseball Championship.
With the win, the Cougars moved to 35-22 overall and 2-0 on the week, while the Green Wave fell to 38-18 overall and 1-1 in the tournament.
Houston will await its next opponent (the winner of Tulane-UCF) and will play Saturday at 9 a.m. CT. The game will air for FREE on the American Digital Network at theamerican.org/dn.
Romero (6.2,4,3,2,2,11) struck out an American Championship-high 11 Tulane hitters en route to his sixth win of the year -- moving to 6-4. Romero allowed just two earned runs on four hits and two walks in 6.2 innings.
Junior Nick Hernandez (2.1,1,0,0,0,3) came in and closed the door for the Cougars, earning his 10th save of the year and second of the week as he fanned three in 2.1 innings out of the pen.
Houston used a third-inning grand slam from Davis -- the American Rookie of the Year -- en route to a six-hit effort by the team. Davis drove in four on his 12th home run of the year to put Houston ahead for good.
Sophomore Corey Julks added a late insurance RBI in the eighth that put the Cougars up by two runs on his RBI-single.
Tulane jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third following a walk and RBI-double.
Houston didn't let the Green Wave's lead last too long as it plated four runs in the latter half of the inning thanks to a Davis grand slam. The inning was set up by Montemayor -- who opened the frame with a leadoff single, moved to second on a Jose Reyes walk and to third on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Zac Taylor.
With one out in the inning, Wong walked to load the bases allowing Davis to put Houston ahead 4-1 on his second career grand slam and 12th home run of the year -- a shot over the center field wall.
Tulane began chipping away at the Cougars' three-run lead with single runs in the fifth and seventh to make it a 4-3 game.
Wong opened the eighth with a double and eventually came around to score on an RBI-single by Julks to give the Cougars' a late-game cushion at 5-3.
Romero was replaced by Hernandez in the seventh inning and the Houston closer shut the door, holding Tulane to just two hits with three strikeouts for the save.
Green Wave starter Emerson Gibbs (7.0,4,4,4,3,5) suffered the loss, falling to 6-3 on the year.
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