Houston Hangs on to Defeat TCU in Game 4 of C-USA Baseball Tournament
May 26, 2004
Thanos Papavasiliou's three-run home run highlighted a four-run third as the No. 5 seed Houston jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held off a scrappy TCU team for the 9-5 victory over the No. 4 seed Horned Frogs in Game 4 of the 2004 Conference USA Baseball Tournament on Wednesday (May 26) night at Cougar Field. The Cougars improved to 29-27 overall on the season, while the Horned Frogs fell to 33-24.
The 14 runs scored between Houston and TCU in the nightcap made today the highest scoring opening day since the league's inaugural tournament in 1996. The four games today have produced a total of 58 runs, second to the 80 combined runs scored in the opening day of the 1996 tournament.
The Cougars belted out 14 hits en route to nine runs, while the Horned Frogs tallied four runs on seven hits.
TCU scored all four of their runs in their half of the third inning. After J.J. Estrada lead off with a walk and reached second on a ground out by D.J. Pokluda, a fielding error allowed Ramon Moses to safely reach first and scored Estrada. Following a walk to Chad Huffman, Bo Cogbill hit an RBI-single down the left field line to score Moses. After striking out, a wild pitch allowed Chris Neuman to reach first and sent Huffman to score. Austin Adams followed with a single to left scoring Cogbill for TCU's fourth and final run of the game.
Houston answered with three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth.
Matt Farrington started the offensive rally in the fourth with a one-out double. Jake Stewart and Papavasiliou followed with walks to load the bases, and two runs crossed the plate when Cole Bruce reached base on a two-bag error by TCU shortstop Shelby Ford. Rob Johnson then followed with an RBI-single to send Papavasiliou home.
The Cougars added their final runs in the fifth on Farrington's two-run bomb to right.
Houston starter Kevin Roberts allowed TCU's four unearned runs on just three hits - and two Cougar errors - in 2.2 innings of work for the no-decision. Rickey Putman, Brad Lincoln and Brandon Roznovsky combined to pitch scoreless ball, with Putman recording the win to improve his season record to 2-0. TCU's Clayton Jerome suffered his fifth loss of the season (8-5) after surrendering all nine Houston runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings.
With the win, Houston advances to play No. 1 seed and fourth-ranked ECU, which earlier defeated Louisville, on Thursday, May 27, at 7:30 p.m. TCU falls into Bracket Two of the double-elimination tournament and will face Louisville on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.