Houston, Tex. - The University of Houston baseball team was able to beat the rain that hit the city for most of Saturday morning, but the Cougars could not overcome a pair of solid pitching performances by two All-America candidates for No. 5 ranked USC and fell to the Trojans in both ends of a double-header Saturday at Cougar Field.
In playing its sixth and seventh games of the season against a team ranked among the Top 5 in the nation, the Cougars were defeated in both games of the double-header by the scores of 6-3 and 7-3.
In game one USC starter Mark Prior scattered nine hits in 8.0 innings of work, allowing only three earned runs and no walks while striking out 10. He picked up his fourth win of the season without a loss after the Trojans rallied from a 2-1 deficit. Houston home runs by Chris Snyder and Sean Allen gave the Cougars a 2-1 advantage but in the top of the sixth the Trojans scored an unearned run to make it 2-2. In the seventh USC added two more on a two-run homer by leftfielder Josh Persell.
UH added another run in the seventh when Thanos Papavasiliou singled in Gabe Lucas, but USC added to more in the eighth for a 6-3 final. Houston threatened in both the eighth and ninth innings but stranded a total of five men on base in those two frames. The Cougars had a quality start on the mound from true freshman Brad Sullivan, who gave up just one earned run while striking out a career-high seven in 7.0 innings.
In game two Houston again had an early lead that was erased by a Trojan rally. After Josh Snook clubbed his fifth home run of the season in the bottom of the first, USC used back-to-back home runs by Al Concepcion and Brian Barre to take a 3-1 advantage. The Trojans then stretched the margin to 5-1 before UH bounced back for a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. As it had done in game one Houston again started a rally in the ninth and had two men on base, but in both games USC closer Brian Bannister ended the threat to earn two saves on the day.
Houston fell to 6-11 overall while USC improved to 11-4. The teams will conclude the the three-game weekend series on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The contest will be broadcast live around the world on the internet by TSRN.com.
College Baseball Linescore (Game 1) R H E USC 001 001 220 -- 6 11 0 Houston 010 010 100 -- 3 11 2 Mark Prior, Brian Bannister (9) and Alberto Concepcion, Matt Bonovich (9); Brad Sullivan, Jared Grein (8) and Chris Snyder. WP - Prior (4-0). LP - Sullivan (0-3). Save - Bannister (1). 2B - none. 3B - USC: Garibaldi; UH: none. HR - USC: Persell (2); UH: Snyder (5), Allen (2). Time - 3:02. Att - 442. College Baseball Linescore (Game 2) R H E USC 000 310 102 -- 7 10 0 Houston 100 000 200 -- 3 10 3 Rik Currier, Fraser Dizard (7), Brian Bannister (7) and Alberto Concepcion. Austin Faught, Nick Torina (7), Steven Reiss (9) and Daron Bertillon. WP - Currier (4-0). LP - Faught (0-3). Save - Bannister (2). 2B - USC: Lunetta; UH: S.Mitchell. 3B - USC: Davidson; UH: none. HR - USC: Concepcion (1), Barre (3); UH: Snook (5). Time - 3:16. Att - 313. Team Records - USC 11-4; Houston 6-11.