No. 5 Baseball Falls in Super Regional Opener

    Box Score (PDF)

    No. 9 TEXAS
    (42-19)
    4

      1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    TEXAS 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 4 10 0
    HOUSTON 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 8 1

    NO. 5 HOUSTON
    (48-17)
    2
    STATS COMPARISON
    Runs 2 4
    AB 32 35
    Hits 8 10
    RBI 1 3
    BB 1 3
    LOB 4 9

    STAT LEADERS
    Vidales 3 H 3 Payton
    None -- 2B 1 Carter
    None -- 3B -- None
    None -- HR 1 Payton
    Vidales 1 RBI 2 Payton
    x2 1 R 2 Johnson
    None -- SB 1 Johnson

    PITCHING
    IP
    H
    R
    ER
    BB
    SO
    W - N. Thornhill
    (8-2)
    7.0 7 2 2 1 3
    L - J. Lemoine
    (6-8)
    4.2 7 4 4 2 2
    L - J. Curtiss
    (9)
    2.0 1 0 0 0 0

    POSTGAME NOTES

    1 - Houston played in its first Super Regional appearance since 2003.

    3 - Houston unfortunately hit into three double plays on the afternoon.

    4.1 - The Houston bullpen pitched 4.1 shutout innings to end the game.


    AUSTIN, Texas - Two early runs proved to be enough for No. 9 Texas as No. 5 Houston Baseball dropped Game 1 of the best-of-three series in the Austin Super Regional, 4-2, on Friday afternoon at Disch-Falk Field.

    With the loss, Houston must win the next two in order to advance to the NCAA College World Series next week. The Cougars are now 48-17 on the year, while the Longhorns improved to 42-19.

    Houston saw a few opportunities late, but weren't able to cash in on them as they hit into three double plays on the afternoon.

    Offensively, the Cougars posted eight hits, led by sophomore Josh Vidales with a three-for-three effort and an RBI, while senior Frankie Ratcliff (2x4) tallied the only other multi-hit game for Houston. Adding to the hit column was junior Michael Pyeatt (1x4), sophomore Justin Montemayor (1x3, R) and freshman Connor Hollis (1x3, R).

    Houston starter Jake Lemoine (4.2,7,4,4,2,2) went 4.2 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts and would suffer the loss, falling to 6-8 on the year.

    Pitching in relief out of the bullpen was sophomore Bubba Maxwell (1.2,1,0,0,1,0) and senior Tyler Ford (2.2,3,0,0,0,2) - who combined for 4.1 shutout innings with two strikeouts.

    Texas jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run homerun off the bat of Mark Payton. Following that, Lemoine was able to escape the frame without any more damage done.

    Despite the leadoff hitter reaching in the second and third innings, the Cougars weren't able to capitalize on those opportunities. The Longhorns would scratch across their third run of the game on a two-hit inning that saw the Cougars make an error.

    Texas padded its lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings on four hits to go ahead 4-0.

    Houston finally struck for some offense when it strung together three straight singles off the bats of Montemayor, Hollis and Vidales. Vidales' single found the first base bag, scoring Montemayor to put the Cougars on the board before Barker hit into a double play, plating Hollis to make it a two-run game.

    After a one-out walk and single to put runners at first and second for Texas, Ford, who replaced Maxwell after the walk, fanned the next two to escape without any damage done. The Cougars threatened in their own half inning when two reached on base hits, but both were left stranded to end the inning.

    Down by two in the ninth, the Cougars made it interesting when Ratcliff singled into right center for a one-out hit, his second of the day. With the tying run at the plate, Montemayor grounded to first, but beat out the throw as the Longhorns attempted to turn the double play. That led to a Jacob Campbell pinch hit at-bat with two outs, but despite a nice piece, Texas was able to pull Game 1 out behind two strong pitching performances in Nathan Thornhill and John Curtiss.

    Thornhill (7.0,7,2,2,1,3) allowed two runs on seven hits in 7.0 innings to earn the win and improve to 8-2, while Curtiss (2.0,1,0,0,0,0) closed the game out to pick up his ninth save of the year.

    AUSTIN, Texas - Two early runs proved to be enough for No. 9 Texas as No. 5 Houston Baseball dropped Game 1 of the best-of-three series in the Austin Super Regional, 4-2, on Friday afternoon at Disch-Falk Field.

    With the loss, Houston must win the next two in order to advance to the NCAA College World Series next week. The Cougars are now 48-17 on the year, while the Longhorns improved to 42-19.

    Houston saw a few opportunities late, but weren't able to cash in on them as they hit into three double plays on the afternoon.

    Offensively, the Cougars posted eight hits, led by sophomore Josh Vidales with a three-for-three effort and an RBI, while senior Frankie Ratcliff (2x4) tallied the only other multi-hit game for Houston. Adding to the hit column was junior Michael Pyeatt (1x4), sophomore Justin Montemayor (1x3, R) and freshman Connor Hollis (1x3, R).

    Houston starter Jake Lemoine (4.2,7,4,4,2,2) went 4.2 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts and would suffer the loss, falling to 6-8 on the year.

    Pitching in relief out of the bullpen was sophomore Bubba Maxwell (1.2,1,0,0,1,0) and senior Tyler Ford (2.2,3,0,0,0,2) - who combined for 4.1 shutout innings with two strikeouts.

    Texas jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run homerun off the bat of Mark Payton. Following that, Lemoine was able to escape the frame without any more damage done.

    Despite the leadoff hitter reaching in the second and third innings, the Cougars weren't able to capitalize on those opportunities. The Longhorns would scratch across their third run of the game on a two-hit inning that saw the Cougars make an error.

    Texas padded its lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings on four hits to go ahead 4-0.

    Houston finally struck for some offense when it strung together three straight singles off the bats of Montemayor, Hollis and Vidales. Vidales' single found the first base bag, scoring Montemayor to put the Cougars on the board before Barker hit into a double play, plating Hollis to make it a two-run game.

    After a one-out walk and single to put runners at first and second for Texas, Ford, who replaced Maxwell after the walk, fanned the next two to escape without any damage done. The Cougars threatened in their own half inning when two reached on base hits, but both were left stranded to end the inning.

    Down by two in the ninth, the Cougars made it interesting when Ratcliff singled into right center for a one-out hit, his second of the day. With the tying run at the plate, Montemayor grounded to first, but beat out the throw as the Longhorns attempted to turn the double play. That led to a Jacob Campbell pinch hit at-bat with two outs, but despite a nice piece, Texas was able to pull Game 1 out behind two strong pitching performances in Nathan Thornhill and John Curtiss.

    Thornhill (7.0,7,2,2,1,3) allowed two runs on seven hits in 7.0 innings to earn the win and improve to 8-2, while Curtiss (2.0,1,0,0,0,0) closed the game out to pick up his ninth save of the year.


    POST-GAME QUOTES
    Houston Head Coach Todd Whitting
    Opening Statement
    "I thought it was a well-fought game. I thought Texas came out and played really well and jumped on us in the first inning. That was a big home run there and kind of got us a little bit, but I thought my guys fought hard. We were down to the last swing whether we were going to win or lose the game, so it's two out of three. Hopefully it's a three-game series. We just have to keep playing."

    On the opportunities late in the game
    "We had plenty of opportunities to drive in a couple of runs and also make a couple of defensive plays and we just didn't do it. Those are opportunities that we've taken advantage of all year, and it just didn't happen for us today."

    On what stood out to him on starting pitcher Nathan Thornhill
    "Three pitches for a strike, anywhere he wanted it. When you get a guy going against you who can throw all three pitches for a strike in any count that he wants, makes it tough on your hitters. I'm not going to be too hard on my hitters because we got pitched to a little bit today. He was outstanding. He didn't give us a whole lot of room for error and I thought he pitched well against us."

    On Jake's Lemoine's numbers in the first half of the season compared to the second half
    "I think he's maybe wearing down a little bit but not a whole lot. Jake's had a lot of hard luck. He's played in a lot of tight ballgames. He had to pitch his way through a lot of really tight ballgames early when he was putting up wins. He's put us in position to win every single time we play. Just because you give up two [runs] in the first [inning] doesn't mean you should lose the game. You've got to scratch and claw and fight and hold them right there. He did a good job of holding them. But he's been a little bit of a hard-luck pitcher for us this season."

    On his memories of Parker French from back in February when they previously played
    "I mean from what I remember, he's going to be similar to Thornhill. He throws a couple of pitches for a strike and he's going to pound the zone. It's the same with all of them. They're not going to back down, they're going to compete and either force you to hit their pitch or sit there and wait and get your own pitch."

    On the mentality of needing to get out in a lead against Texas
    "We usually don't play that way. We play tight ballgames; we've played them all year long but you're correct, I thought we did get pitches to hit and we didn't execute. That doesn't mean that's what's going to happen tomorrow. It's not the first time we've done it all year and every team in the country is that way. You just have to battle through that thing and I thought he (Thornhill) did a good job of going up and down and in and out on us. I thought my guys competed well. To me at the end of day, the main thing I'm looking for is how we compete, and I thought we competed today."

    Sophomore Justin Montemayor
    On what it was like facing Nathan Thornhill today
    "Like Coach (Whitting) said, he had three pitches that he could throw for strikes in any count and kind of kept us off-balanced, but I felt like we battled. We just didn't get the timely hits today."

    Sophomore Josh Vidales
    On being down early similar to the Regional versus LSU
    "Absolutely not. We're backed in the corner just like we were last weekend and I feel like if we take it one pitch at a time and go 1-0 tomorrow and then it will be determined on Sunday. So we're just going to scratch and claw and try to win tomorrow and see what happens from there."

    On catching breaks like the ball hitting off the first base bag in the sixth inning
    "Yeah it was definitely a big break. Frankie Ratcliff and I were just talking about it and saying we've never actually hit a ball and it hit a bag and actually get on base, and it happened today. When he came in the dugout, we got a few laughs. But it was a big break and a little bit of momentum there. I feel like our pitching put up a few more zeros after that, we just didn't get the timely hits."

    On what they drew from the Baton Rouge experience
    "Just communicate better on the field. With a loud, packed crowd like this, you have to communicate with the guys around you and just don't give up."


    STAY CONNECTED
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    ON DECK
    Houston and Texas will meet for Game 2 of the best-of-three series on Saturday. Game set for a 1:05 p.m. first pitch on ESPN.


     

     

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