|Wednesday, February 17, 1999||
Volume 64, Issue 74
The Wrestling Report
|UH pulls out miracle in Austin: 12-9 in 12 innings
By Anna Sivadasan and D. Ryan Monceaux
AUSTIN-Do you believe in miracles?
Apparently, the UH baseball team does. In a classic game between two in-state rivals, the No. 24-ranked Cougars defeated the No. 5-ranked Texas Longhorns in dramatic fashion Tuesday afternoon at Disch-Falk Field.
It looked as though the game was all but over for the road team, but then the top of the ninth inning arrived. UH not only rallied for four runs to tie the game at nine in the ninth, the Cougars went on to defeat Texas 12-9 in dramatic fashion in the 12th on shortstop Aaron Melebeck's three-run homer over the left-field fence.
It was Melebeck's first homer of the season, and it was also his first hit of the game, but ironically, the junior wasn't even expected to be swinging away on the pitch.
"It was supposed to be a squeeze play, and I guess I missed the sign," Melebeck said. "This really gives me some confidence."
But in a game as close and as scintillating as this, there was more than one hero for the Cougars. UH would not have been in position to win the game had it not been for its four-run rally in the ninth. For eight innings, the Longhorns were coming up with the big defensive plays, solid pitching and the clutch two-out hits. In fact, eight of UT's nine runs came with two outs in an inning.
However, when the game was on the line in the ninth, 10th, 11th and
12th, it was the Cougars who were coming up with the stout pitching, good
defense and clutch hitting.
Sean Allen and the Houston Cougars pulled out an emotional game Tuesday night in Austin 12-9 in 12 innings. An Aaron Melebeck three-run homer in the bottom of the 12th helped to upset rival Texas.
Will Chen/The Daily Cougar
Lost in all of the excitement of the Cougars' comeback win was the outstanding job turned in by the UH bullpen. Sophomore Nick Torina picked up his first career win, pitching the final two innings, and four UH relievers shut down the UT offense, enabling the Cougar hitters to go to work.
"It was great work by our bullpen," UH head coach Rayner Noble said. "AJ (Alex Jackson) was good, (Duncan) McAdoo came in and shut them down, and Torina was great too."
Defensively, second baseman Sean Allen made the play of the game to send it into extra innings. With a runner on first, UT's Jason Cox hit a ball that looked like it was going to fall in between second and right field. Allen, however, with his back to home plate, made a diving catch and doubled up the runner at first to end the inning.
"I couldn't be any prouder of our team," Noble said. "We scrapped and fought (to win the game)."
The four-run, ninth-inning rally started innocently with a walk to Melebeck. Brandon Caraway and Tyson Schweitzer followed with consecutive singles. UH scored its first two runs of the frame on miscues by Texas.
The Longhorns committed an error that scored one run and a balk that scored another. UT's mistakes opened the door for the UH hitters. With the bases loaded, Jason Pekar hit a sacrifice fly to right field in order to bring home the Cougars' third run. Then Jarrod Bitter, who had homered in the second to put UH up 1-0, delivered a clutch, two-out base hit between short and third to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
Offensively, the Cougars tallied 14 hits as Caraway, Schweitzer, Pekar
and Bitter combined to bat 10-for-19 with seven RBIs and six runs scored.
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