The 2001 University of Houston baseball team is every bit as young as it is new, but the Cougars showed some poise in rallying for a 3-3 tie in a game against a squad of former UH players in the program's annual varsity-alumni game Saturday afternoon at Cougar Field.
Facing a talented alumni lineup that featured eight former players currently active in professional baseball, the 2001 varsity squad overcame a 3-0 deficit to lodge a 3-3 tie in the seven-inning exhibition.
The alumni scored first in the top of the third inning when Jarrod Bitter, an all-America selection last season, singled with the bases loaded. San Diego Padre farm-hand J.P. Wodward then drove a sacrifice fly to centerfield to stretch the margin to 3-0.
The Cougar varsity got one run back in the fourth when true freshman Sam Mitchell scored on a double to left by Chris Klosterman. The varsity then tied the game with a pair of runs in the fifth off former all-American and Los Angeles Dodger prospect Shane Nance. Freshman shortstop Hyung Cho led off with a double and then scored on a double by Sean Allen. After a fielder's choice, Allen scored on a ground out by freshman Brad Sullivan.
Cougar head coach Rayner Noble used four pitchers in the game. Senior left-hander Nick Torina looked sharp holding the alumni to one hit in 2.0 innings of work. Freshmen Gene Flores and Jared Grein combined for 3.0 shut out innings, highlighted by Flores striking out current major leaguer Scott Sheldon (Texas Rangers) looking in the fifth.
Houston opens the 2001 season February 2-4 with three games at the fabulous Enron Field, the downtown home of major league baseball's Houston Astros. The games are part of a six-team, college tournament featuring former member's of the old Southwest Conference including Baylor, Rice, Texas, TCU and Texas Tech.
UH will face No. 17 ranked Baylor at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2. Houston then meets Texas at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 3) and Texas Tech at 12 noon on Sunday.
College Baseball Linescore (exhib.) R H E UH Alumni 003 000 0 -- 3 9 1 UH Varsity 000 120 0 -- 3 6 2