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Volume 68, Issue 141, Friday, April 25, 2003

Sports

Cougars run with the Bulls

By Emily Davis
The Daily Cougar

UHis pitchers have been setting records all season -- Brad Sullivan tied a UH single-game record with 16 strikeouts in an 8-2 routing of Saint Louis on Friday; Danny Zell set a team high of eight wins after striking out five in six innings to pick up the decision in Saturdayis 8-5 victory; Brian Henderson pitched a career high five innings in a 5-1 win over Rice on April 16.



Junior outfielder Gabe Lucas became the 17th player in UH history to record five hits in one game (a 7-3 win over Southwest Texas State on Tuesday). The Cougars next travel to Tampa, Fla., to play the South Florida Bulls in a three-game series beginning today.

Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar

But on Tuesday, the pitchers shared the stage with the Cougarsi hot hitters -- mainly junior Gabe Lucas, who was the first player to go 5-for-5 since 1999 and only the 17th in school history.

Lucasi heroics led to a 7-3 win over Southwest Texas, UHis fifth in as many games, and boosted the Cougars to 23-18 on the season. 

"Gabe is strong," said pitcher Gene Flores. "He is always able to step in and come up big and has been hot all season."

Now the scorching Cougars will head to Tampa, Fla., for a three-game Conference USA series against South Florida, taking the field at 6 p.m. today and noon on Saturday and Sunday.

The Bulls (26-15), who were alone at the top of the C-USA rankings for more than a month, fell to fourth place (one spot below UH) after an 11-1 blowout by Stetson on Tuesday.

"South Florida is a top team," Flores said. "It would be great to get a sweep. I think our recent win over Rice and sweeping another conference team (Saint Louis) will help us tremendously against them."

But winning big games is only possible with big plays, and it is junior Hyung Cho who most often makes them happen. Cho (.377, nine home runs, 32 RBIs) continues to pad his already-impressive stats and leads the Cougars with six more home runs than his closest teammate, Lucas (.305, three HR, 11 RBIs).

Cho, who drove in three more runs and scored another on Tuesday, has the seventh-best batting average in the conference.

"We wish we could have nine Hyung Chos out there," Flores said. "He has his big days and truly is the team leader."

USF will show up with some hot hitters of its own -- including Devin Ivany (.388, 4 HR, 35 RBIs) and Myron Leslie (.344, 2 HR, 24 RBIs), who had one of the teamis four hits Tuesday.

But donit forget the pitching. Sullivan will start today, Zell on Saturday and Henderson on Sunday.

Sullivan earned one of four Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week awards. Henderson won the C-USA Pitcher of the Week award for notching his second win of the season against Saint Louis on Sunday. Before earning his first win against Rice last week, Henderson had not started since his true-freshman year in 2001.

"Weire on," Flores said. "Pitching has always been our strong suit but itis definitely on track now."

 Send comments to dcsports@mail.uh.edu

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