Pirates plunder the Cougars
By Stuart H. Clements
Daily Cougar Staff
The No. 5 Houston baseball team fell into
a three-way tie for second in Conference USA after dropping two games against
Brian Viney/The Daily Cougar
Junior Brett Cooley hit his
sixth and seventh home runs of the year this weekend, giving him the team
lead in that category.
Louisville and Texas Christian join the
Cougars in second place, while Southern Mississippi jumped into first place
after sweeping a three-game
series against Charlotte.
The Cougars fell to 23-10 overall, 8-4
in league play, while the Pirates advanced to 23-7-1, 6-5-1 in conference.
After losing the first two games of the
weekend's three-game series, the Cougars got it together Sunday and defeated
the Pirates 7-3.
Sophomore Gene Flores started for Houston,
but after giving up six hits and three runs in three and one-third innings,
he was replaced. Flores has a
Sophomore Danny Zell came in to relieve
Flores and picked up his third straight win. Zell gave up one hit in three
innings, which improved his ERA to
Junior superstar Jesse Crain stepped onto
the mound to close the game with two and two-thirds innings of scoreless
relief. Crain earned his fifth save
of the season with the work.
While Zell and Crain worked their magic
on the mound, the Cougar offense was working hard at the plate.
Sophomores Thanos Papavasiliou and Michael
Bourn led the offense. Papavasiliou went 4-4 with one RBI, while Bourn
went 3-4, picking up two runs
and two stolen bases.
Junior Brett Cooley hit his
seventh home run of the season.
Senior Keith Whatley picked up his second
consecutive loss as Saturday's starting pitcher. Whatley pitched only one-third
of an inning, but it was
enough for East Carolina to take the lead.
Sophomore Austin Faught came in for two-and-two-thirds
innings of relief. Faught gave up seven hits and six runs, only three of
which were earned.
Freshman Ryan Wagner stepped onto the mound
for two innings and gave up only one hit while tallying five strikeouts.
Sophomore Brian Henderson, senior Matt
Hooper and freshman Taylor Gartz finished the game.
The Cougar defense committed six errors,
helping the Pirates win 11-4.
Bourn led the offense Saturday, going 2-2
and scoring three of Houston's four runs.
Sophomore Brad Sullivan was Friday's starter
and pitched six and two-thirds innings. Sullivan gave up four runs on seven
hits,which raised his ERA to
1.73 from 1.24.
Senior Nathan Mitchell came in for relief
and picked up his first loss of the season.
Houston's offense was going strong; the
Cougars were up 3-0 going into the bottom of the sixth. The Pirates then
tied it 3-3, but the Cougars regained
the lead in the top of the seventh.
East Carolina fired back to take the lead
in the bottom of the seventh with two runs. After that, the Cougars could
not sneak ahead for the win.
Cooley and junior Anthony Scalise each
hit a home run in Friday's game. It was Scalise's first of the season.
The team will return to Cougar Field at
7 p.m. Tuesday to challenge Texas A&M. The Cougars defeated the Aggies
earlier this season at the Astros