June 2, 2003
COLLEGE STATION , Texas - Brian Martin raced home on an infield error in the bottom of the 10th inning as the University of Houston baseball team shocked host Texas A&M 7-6 at Olsen Field to win the 2003 NCAA Regional at College Station championship.
With two outs, Martin and Sam Mitchell drew back-to-back walks in the bottom of the 10th inning. On a 1-2 count, UH shortstop Stuart Musslewhite rapped a slow dribbler back to the pitcher's mound, where A&M reliever Matt Farnum scooped up the ball. However, Farnum's throw went over the head of first baseman Scott Beerer into right field, allowing Martin to score the game-winning run and stun most of the 4,554 fans a the game.
The Cougars, who had to defeat Texas A&M twice on Sunday to advance, scored five runs over the final three innings to win for the sixth time in their last seven games against the Aggies at Olsen Field.
With the win, the Cougars advance to the NCAA Super Regional for the third time in the last four years against Rice at Reckling Park. The winner of the best two-out-of-three series advances to the NCAA College World Series. Game times and dates will be announced Monday.
Trailing 6-2 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, the Cougars began their unlikely comeback with two runs in that frame. Michael Bourn led off with a single up the middle and Travis Tully followed with a walk. Two batters later, Matt Farrington slapped a single up the middle to plate Bourn. Cho scored the Cougars' second run of the frame after racing in following a Beerer wild pitch to make the score 6-4.
UH continued to threaten with runners on first and second when Thanos Papavasiliou blasted a
shot into the left center gap. However, A&M left fielder John Infante made a diving catch to end the threat.
In the ninth, Brett Logan smashed a one-out double down the left field line and came around to score when Bourn blasted a triple off the center field wall. Bourn then knotted the game at 6-6 when Travis Tully lifted a sacrifice fly into left field.
Things did not start well for the Cougars in the 10th inning. Beerer blasted a double to center field to lead off the frame, before UH closer Ryan Wagner entered the game. After Justin Pouk drew a walk, Wagner forced John Infante into a groundout. With runners still on first and second, pinch hitter Kevin Whelan struck out and Matt Alexander grounded out to end the threat and set the stage for the Cougars' late-inning heroics.
Bourn, Wagner, third baseman Hyung Cho and infielder Cole Bruce were all named to the NCAA Regional at College Station All-Tournament Team. In addition, Bruce was honored as the Most Outstanding Player, the second year in a row that a Cougar player has received that honor.
Wagner collected the win and improved to 6-5 this season after throwing one shutout inning. Farnum collected the loss and fell to 7-2 after allowing two walks and one unearned run in 0.2 innings of relief.
Bourn batted 3-for-5 with three runs and an RBI to lead the Cougar offense, which outhit the Aggies 8-7. Musslewhite finished the day 2-for-5, while four other players recorded one hit apiece.
As they did in the first game Sunday, the Cougars jumped ahead in their first at-bat. Michael Bourn reached on a single to lead off. When the swift Cougar runner stole second, A&M catcher Justin Pouk's throw down to second base went into center field, allowing Bourn to reach third. Hyung Cho then grounded out to second base but not before Bourn raced in from home with the game's first run.
The Aggies answered in the top of the second with two runs. Scott Beerer led off the inning with a shot over the left field wall and Justin Pouk followed with a monster shot to give the Aggies the lead.
UH knotted the game in the bottom of the frame. Matt Farrington walked to lead off and moved into scoring position on a groundout. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Farrington knotted the game at 2-2 on Gabe Lucas' sacrifice fly to center field.
Texas A&M used the long ball again in the third inning to regain the lead when Chris Pennington blasted a solo shot to left field.
In the sixth inning, the Aggies pushed their lead to three runs, thanks to a hit and a key two-out UH error. Justin Pouk, who reached after being hit by a pitch, scored on the infield error and John Infante came around on Erik Schindewolf's RBI single to right field for a 5-2 A&M lead.
John Infante gave the Aggies a 6-2 lead in the eighth inning with a solo homer - A&M's fourth of the game - to left field.
Cliff Pennington batted 2-for-3 with a run and RBI, while Scott Beerer batted 2-for-4 with a run, home run and RBI for Texas A&M.