Feb. 18, 2012
HOUSTON--The University of Houston baseball team combined for 24 hits and 23 runs in Saturday's double-header over Delaware, earning a 7-5 Game 1 win and a 16-1 Game 2 win in its season opener at Cougar Field.
Houston (2-0) improved to 2-0 on the year with the Saturday sweep under second year head coach Todd Whitting, while Delaware fell to 0-2.
"Double-headers are hard to win and to bounce back by erupting like we did in the first inning of Game 2 was huge," said Whitting. "I thought our defense was outstanding on a tough day to play with wet conditions and as a whole, I felt like we played really well."
Game 1: UH 7, Delaware 5
The Cougars erupted for a seven-run eighth inning that was sparked by seven hits, four of which were for extra base hits to come-from-behind in Game 1 for a 7-5 victory over Delaware.
Leading the way offensively was senior John Cannon (2x3, R, 2 RBI), junior Taylor White (2x4, R) and junior Jacob Lueneburg (2x3, R) who combined for six of the Cougars' nine hits. Also earning a base knock was senior Jake Runte (1x4, R, RBI), junior Chase Jensen (1x4, R, RBI) and freshman Zack Gibson (1x1, R, RBI).
Sophomore Chase Wellbrock (1-0) (0.1,1,0,0,0,0) picked up the win in relief after tossing a third of an inning, allowing one hit as the pitcher of record when the Cougars took the lead in the eighth. The righty garnered his second career win.
Senior Mo Wiley (1.0,0,0,0,1,2) earned the save for the Cougars, tossing 1.0 shutout inning with two strikeouts. The right-hander picked up his third career save.
White opened the eighth frame with a double to left center and advanced to third on a Blue Hen balk. With one out, Runte's triple plated White to put the Cougars on board for the first time. After a Grayson walk, Jensen, Lueneburg, and Cannon all singled to keep the inning alive and plated three more to pull within one at 5-4.
Gibson, off the bench, drove a double down the right field line to tie the game, while Jacobs' suicide squeeze with runners at second and third capped the impressive offensive inning, plating both Cannon and Gibson, which came all the way around from second to make it a 7-5 game in favor of the Cougars.
Delaware put up three runs through the first six innings and two more in the eighth on eight hits. The Blue Hens looked in control for most of the game until Houston broke loose in the latter half of the eighth for the win.
Taking the loss on the mound for the Blue Hens was reliever Jeff Murray (0.0,3,4,4,1,0).
Game 2: Houston 16, Delaware 1
A seven-run inning carried over into Game 2 as the Cougars posted seven in the first inning of Game 2, which propelled them to a solid and convincing 16-1 win over the Blue Hens in the final game on Saturday.
Houston saw a solid starting performance by senior Jordan Lewis (1-0) (5.2,4,0,0,3,3), who earned the win and his sixth of his career, tossing 5.2 innings, allowing four hits and three walks with three strikeouts.
Grayson (3x4, 3 R, 3 RBI) finished with a 3-for-4 effort, driving in three and scoring three, while Jacobs (3x5, 2 R, 2 RBI) also tallied three hits, scored twice and drove in two to pace the offensive attack.
Notching two base knocks was Jensen (2x5, R, 3 RBI) who drove in three, Lueneburg (2x5, 2 RBI), and White (2x3, 2 R, RBI) who finished the day hitting .571 on a 4-for-7 effort to pace the squad at the plate. Senior Landon Appling (1x4, 3 R, RBI) cranked the Cougars first home run of the season, while Runte (1x5, 2 R, 2 RBI) and freshman Kendall Stacks (1x1, R) each added a hit to the mix.
Appling got the Cougars going early with a leadoff homerun to left field. He sparked a three-hit, seven-run first, which saw an RBI by Gibson on a hit-by-pitch and a two-run single to left field by Jacobs.
Houston would go on to score over the next three innings with one run in the second, two in the third and five in the fourth, connecting on eight hits to go ahead 15-0. Lueneburg and Grayson drove in five of the Cougars' eight runs in the second, third and fourth frames.
Delaware scratched a run across in the top of the seventh on a single to left field, but Houston would respond with one final run in the eighth on a Jensen single to left center.
Earning the loss on the mound for Delaware was starter Chad Kuhl (1.1,5,8,6,3,1).
The Cougars will return to play and wrap up the three-game series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. first pitch vs. Delaware at Cougar Field.