Feb. 19, 2012
HOUSTON--Freshman right-hander Aaron Garza earned his first career win and freshman Price Jacobs belted his first career homerun and drove in three to lift the University of Houston baseball team to a 9-2 Sunday afternoon victory and a three-game series sweep over Delaware at Cougar Field to open the 2012 season.
The Cougars improved to 3-0 on the year under second year head coach Todd Whitting and have now earned their second straight opening series in two years as they defeated UTA in a three-game set in 2011 at home.
"A three-game sweep over a quality opponent is really good," said Whitting. "I was excited about how the team came out and played after yesterday's games. We really took care of business today."
Garza (6.0,5,1,0,2,3), in his collegiate debut, didn't disappoint as the Galveston, Texas native tossed 6.0 complete innings, surrendering just five scattered hits, one run, which was unearned, two walks, while fanning three for the victory.
Houston tallied nine hits in the contest, led by a multi-hit game by senior Jake Runte (2x4, RBI), Jacobs (2x4, 3 R, 3 RBI) and junior Taylor White (2x3, R, RBI). Jacobs shined at the plate in his first collegiate weekend as a Cougar, tallying a 5-for-11 effort with seven RBI and five runs scored, including a double and a homerun.
Also picking up a hit on Sunday for Houston was sophomore Landon Appling (1x4, R, 2 RBI), who drove in two on a single to left field in the eighth, junior Jacob Lueneburg (1x4, R), and senior John Cannon (1x3, 2 R).
Relieving Garza on the mound in the seventh was freshman Matt Hernandez (1.0,0,0,0,0,0), who tossed a 1.0-inning shutout. Senior Codey Morehouse (2.0,4,1,0,1,2) would then pitch the final two innings in relief for the Cougars, surrendering four hits, one unearned run with one walk and two strikeouts.
Delaware broke open a scoreless game in the third on a run, following a leadoff single, but Houston responded quickly with three of its own in the latter half of the frame. Two singles by Jacobs and Runte followed by walks from White and Appling got things rolling offensively as Houston garnered three runs to make it a 3-1 game.
The Cougars didn't stop there as Cannon opened the inning with a bunt single, allowing Jacobs to drive him in on a deep shot to left field for two more runs.
Up 5-1, Houston and Delaware played a scoreless three frames until the Cougars built on their lead with four more runs in the bottom half of the eighth. With one out, Houston used three singles, two walks and two Blue Hen errors to pull ahead 9-1 heading into the final inning of play. Delaware managed to scratch a final run across on an RBI-single in the ninth.
Houston will return to action on Tuesday when it hosts Texas A&M Corpus Christi at Cougar Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.