May 31, 2002
Houston 9, New Mexico State 0
Mesa, Ariz. (Hohokam Stadium)
Game Start: 12:07 Game Time Temp: 106° Game Time: 2:28 Attendance: 1,050
Houston Head Coach Rayner Noble: "When get into situations like this you can't take anybody lightly, especially the team that is leading the country in home runs. There also hitting .325 as a team. That wasn't even a thought in my mind to go with anybody else but Brad Sullivan. He was throwing the ball pretty good, it was a hot day. I think he ended up throwing close to 140 pitches, which is pushing the envelope for him. I don't like to see him throw quite that many. I felt like he was going okay, throwing smoothly, he did a nice job today."
On the conditions
"I thought our guys hung in there pretty well. We kept them hydrated, and I don't think the conditions affected us a bit."
Houston Starting Pitcher Brad Sullivan: "I saw all the home runs (NMSU) hit and the RBI, so I knew I had to stay inside and keep the ball down."
On his slow start
"It was a mixture of not hitting my spots and the strike zone. I had to settle down, make the adjustment to the umpire, and to settle down and throw strikes."
"I go into the game trying to shut them out and give my team a chance to win. I was fortunate to do that today."
Houston First Baseman Brett Cooley: "Scoring first is big, especially with Brad (Sulllivan) on the mound. I know getting him some runs early is big, and he oes a good job out there when we get him some runs, and everything takes care of itself."
Houston Notes: First Baseman Brett Cooley hit his 18th home run of the season, tying him for second place on the Houston Single Season Home Run list (J.P. Woodward, 1999). Pat Hewes holds the record with 23 home runs in 1986...Stuart Musselwhite saw his first action since April 26th, when he sustained a shoulder injury during on off the field incident...Brad Sullivan threw his third shut out of the season, including the second in his last three games, and his fifth complete game. He has given up only one run in his last 29 innings of work.
New Mexico State Head Coach Gary Ward: "We understood the brilliance of (UH Starter Brad) Sullivan. He's a command guy, we had to extend him and fight some pitches off, win some 3-2 counts. We did not win one all day. People will laugh at you when you say those are differences. Baseball games swing on 5 or 6 pitches. You get beat 9-0, you go back."
"Jason Williams goes to the mound for me today, he's a leader and hoss, and a guy who has really carried us here. He's struggled as of late with a little arm tightness...We're going to go to him, we have that much faith in him. He was really empty today, with his stuff."
"I probably went with him a little too long, from a coaching standpoint. It's a three game look, and when you open with a guy, you need to get innings out of him."
"We stayed hooked up, thought we had some good trips, and again, just couldn't extend (Sullivan). We couldn't get him on the stretch, and when we hit a ball hard, it was right at somebody. It's the nature of the game. No alibis, no excuses, we got it handed to us. I'm very proud of these people, and our job is to accept what happened, erase the board, get out here at 10 o'clock and se if we can work our way back to Sunday."
New Mexico State Second Baseman Gabe Veloz: "Personally, (Sullivan) kept me off balance a little bit. I tip my hat to the kid, he made pitches when he had too, and I didn't hit the ball as hard as I like too. From a team standpoint, we battled all day long. We had some 3-2 counts that we could have had better swings at, but we have top put this behind us. We have to get back tomorrow."