Cougars take two of three
By Stuart H. Clements
Daily Cougar Staff
After splitting the first two games of
the weekend's three-game series against Conference USA foe Cincinnati,
No. 7 Houston roared back on
Sunday to defeat the Bearcats, 10-1.
Lorrie Novosad/The Daily
Sophomore pitcher Brad Sullivan
recorded 12 strikeouts in eight innings Friday to get the win against Cincinnati.
The Cougars advanced to 29-12 overall,
13-5 in C-USA, while the Bearcats fell to 17-21-1 overall and only 5-12-1
With the series win, Houston will stay
on top of the league tied with Louisville, which made a three-game sweep
of Charlotte over the weekend.
Texas Christian had been tied with UH for
No. 1, but after Tulane beat TCU three times, the Horned Frogs plunged
to No. 4.
UH sophomore Austin Faught replaced sophomore
Gene Flores as the Sunday starter. Faught, a southpaw who showed a lot
of promise last
season but has slowly been working his
way back into the game after a shoulder injury, went seven innings, giving
up one run on five hits.
Faught tallied 10 strikeouts and got his
first win, improving his record to 1-2 and lowering his ERA to 3.96.
Flores toed the rubber after Faught and
faced only six batters in two innings, going three up and three down in
both innings to finish the game.
Flores threw one strikeout and allowed
no hits, runs or walks.
Houston led off with a run in the first
to take a small lead over the Bearcats.
Sophomores Hyung Cho and Michael Bourn
both had RBI singles, and Bearcat pitcher Matt Lasita helped with a run-scoring
Freshman Stuart Musslewhite added a run
with a sacrifice fly from senior Keith Whatley, and junior Chris Snyder
pounded a two-run home run
over left field.
The Cougars added six runs in the second
to take a 7-0 lead. Houston added three more runs in the third, fifth and
seventh innings, including a
second home run by Snyder, making the
final score 10-1.
Saturday's game turned into a test of stamina,
and Cincinnati outlasted the Cougars through 12 innings to win 11-10.
Sophomore Danny Zell started on the mound,
but only made it two and two-third innings. Zell gave up three runs on
four hits with his ERA
ending at 2.52 before freshman Ryan Wagner
replaced him. Wagner tallied six strikeouts, but allowed five runs on six
Sophomore Brian Henderson, junior Jesse
Crain and seniors Nathan Mitchell and Matt Hooper all toed the rubber Saturday
night, with Hooper
recording his first loss of the season.
After Cincinnati had taken an early lead
with one run, Houston answered with two runs, but the Bearcats refused
to give up.
The Bearcats had a 6-2 advantage going
into the fifth, but the Cougars turned it around and led 9-8 in the eighth.
Crain couldn't keep an inherited
runner from scoring, and in the top of
the 12th, the Bearcats took an 11-10 lead and held on for the win.
Sunday, sophomore starting pitcher Brad
Sullivan improved to 7-0 with a 1.62 ERA, and tallied 12 strikeouts in
eight innings, while the Cougar
offense worked its magic.
Houston took an 8-0 lead after the second,
and added two runs in the sixth. Sullivan and Flores each gave up a run,
making the final score 10-2.
The Cougars face Sam Houston State at 7
p.m. Wednesday at Cougar Field.