Monday, April 8, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 125



Pirates plunder the Cougars in C-USA

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 East Carolina.

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
6.27 ERA.

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
College Classic.

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