May 27, 2004
Rob Johnson's line drive over ECU shortstop Billy Richardson scored Kevin Roberts with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to cap off Houston's come-from-behind 6-5 win over the fourth-ranked Pirates on Thursday (May 27) night in Game 8 of the 2004 Conference USA Baseball Tournament, presented by Sterling Bank, at Cougar Field. Houston improves to 30-27 overall on the year, while ECU falls to 48-10.
The No. 5 seed Cougars rallied with two runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at five apiece. After ECU closer Matt Bishop struck out the first two Houston batters, Matt Farrington drew a walk and Jake Stewart reached first after being hit by a pitch. Travis Tully, who had singled earlier in the game, battled Bishop for over 10 pitches before lacing a double to center field sending both Farrington and Stewart home.
The No. 1 seed Pirates got on the board in the first with a double from lead-off hitter Jamie Paige and an RBI-single by 2004 C-USA Player of the Year Ryan Jones.
Houston answered with a run in its half of the first. Stewart lead off the inning with a double to right, and after advancing to third on Tully's single, came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Cole Bruce.
The Cougars took their first lead in the second when Farrington hit a solo bomb over the right field fence.
The Pirates added two runs in the sixth on a sacrifice fly and single, before Houston answered to tie the game yet again when Thanos Papavasiliou, who led off with a triple, came around to score on Musselwhite's sacrifice fly to center.
It looked like the Pirates took control of the game when they scored two runs on four hits to take a 5-3 lead after a Houston fielding error.
Brandon Roznovsky, who relieved Houston starter Garrett Mock in the ninth, earned the victory to improve to 2-3 on the year. Mock pitched eight solid innings, allowing five runs, three of which were earned, on 11 hits and five strikeouts.
ECU's Bishop suffered his first loss on the year, falling to 4-1. Brody Taylor started for the Pirates, allowing three runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings of work. Kevin Rhodes came in to relieve Taylor and hurled 1.2 innings of hitless ball.
With the win, Houston advances to the semi-finals of the league's annual tournament and will face the winner of the TCU-ECU game, slated for Friday (May 28) at 6:30 p.m., on Saturday afternoon, May 29, at 12:30 p.m.