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Volume 68, Issue 132, Monday, April 14, 2003

Sports
 

Cougars swept away by Wave, back at .500

Cougar Sports Staff

Itis funny how one weekend can change the momentum of an entire season. But a three-game sweep will do that.

Just six days after the UH baseball team hammered Southwest Texas State for 14 runs and raised its record to a season-high three wins over .500, the Cougars came back down to earth with a series sweep by Tulane at Turchin Stadium in New Orleans.

UH fell to 18-18 (9-6 in Conference USA) and suffered its first conference sweep since 1998. Itis just the second time the Cougars have been swept in 60 C-USA series. The Green Wave improved to 26-11 (9-6 in C-USA).

Sophomore Garrett Mock fell to 2-3 after giving up two earned runs off five hits in 3.1 innings of work in Sundayis game. While only two runs were charged to Mock, the Cougars fell behind 5-0 while he was on the mound. The sophomoreis ERA shot up to 4.06.

Sophomore reliever Ryan Wagner and junior pitcher Brian Henderson finished off the game and kept the Wave from causing any more damage, but the damage had already been done. The Cougars couldnit touch Tulane starter Cory Hahn for any more than one run in six innings.

Reliever Billy Mohl only allowed one Cougar runner on base through the final three innings to earn the save and close out the sweep with a 5-1 win.

Itis hard to find a silver lining, but the Cougarsi woes at the plate and on the basepaths meant one player had to try to force the action a bit.

Junior outfielder Michael Bourn worked a walk to get on base and advanced to second on a balk. He stole third base and scored UHis only run off an RBI single from junior Gabe Lucas. Bourn moved into second place on the all-time UH list with 72 career steals.

Games 1 and 2 were decidedly closer than the finale.

Juniors Brad Sullivan and Danny Zell held the Green Wave to six runs in the first two games of the series, but Tulaneis Brian Bogusevic (0.42 ERA) and J.R. Crowel (2.72 ERA) kept the UH offense from causing too much harm.

Zell went the distance in a 4-2 loss in Game 2 on Saturday.

The Cougars fell behind 2-0 in the fourth inning but junior Hyung Chois eighth home run of the season, a two-run dinger that also sent Bourn home, knotted the game at 2-2 in the fifth. Zell hung on for the next two innings.

But a sacrifice fly sent the Waveis Tommy Manzella home and gave Tulane back the lead. Tulane added a run in the eighth. Despite six strikeouts and no walks allowed, Zell fell to 7-3.

Sullivan had a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning of Game 1 on Friday and looked to be well on his way to his fifth win, but Tulaneis Jonny Kaplan scored from first base off a two-out error that put another Wave runner on base. Tulane took the lead with an RBI single. Sullivan fell to 4-4 but his ERA fell to 2.09.

While the pitchers didnit shut down the opposition, the Cougars couldnit string enough clutch hits together. UH Cougars left 24 runners on base in the series, including 10 in Game 1. As good as the Cougar pitching has been, the batters will need to find some pop as they prepare to face a familiar face this week.

The Cougars next host the Rice Owls in the finale of the Silver Glove Series at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cougar Field. UH will try to avoid a season sweep to the No.1 team in the nation.

 Send comments to dcsports@mail.uh.edu

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