Houston Staff Holds UAB To Two Hits To Remain In C-USA Lead
Houston, TX (April 6) -- After a sensational duel between two pitching staffs, the University of Houston rallied for a 1-0 Conference USA win over visiting UAB in the bottom of the 12th inning Friday night at Cougar Field. With the extra-inning victory the Cougars' held on to sole possession of first place in the C-USA standings over South Florida by a full two games.
Highlighted by starter Brad Sullivan's 8.0 innings and another 3.1 frames by Nathan Mitchell, four members of the Houston pitching staff held UAB to just two hits and one walk for 12 full shut out innings. The UAB staff however matched the Houston shut out effort and no batter even reached third base until the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Balzers worked out of that jam but UH finally converted a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the 12th inning. Mitchell, who was brilliant in striking out a career-high five batters in 3.1 hitless innings, drew a walk with one out in the 12th. He then advanced two bases on an errant pickoff attempt, bringing a man to third base for only the second time all game.
Houston then executed a squeeze play to perfection to score the winning run. Mitchell broke for home and the next UH batter, Sean Allen, laid down a bunt near the first base line which went unfielded by the defense. Mitchell scored easily and also gave him the pitching decision, improving his record to 2-1 on the year.
Overall Houston improved to 17-18 on the year and 9-1 in C-USA action. UAB fell to 17-13 and 3-7. The teams will play game two of the three-game conference series on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
Conference USA Baseball Linescore UAB 000 000 000 000 -- 0 2 1 Houston 000 000 000 001 -- 1 9 1Joe Yarbrough, Clay Bush (9), Blake Allen (9), Jon Burgett (12), Ross Dobbins (12) and Al Hecklinski. Brad Sullivan, Keith Whatley (9), Matt Hooper (9), Nathan Mitchell (9) and Chris Snyder. WP- N.Mitchell (2-1). LP - Burgett (0-1). Save- none. 2B- none. 3B- none. HR- none. Time- 3:18. Att- 792. Team Records- Houston 17-18, 9-1; UAB: 17-13, 3-7.