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Volume 71, Issue 136, Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sports

Cougars pull close one out in win over Bearkats

by Ronnie Turner
The Daily Cougar

With College Baseball No. 13-ranked UH leading Sam Houston State by only a run and looking to seal the deal in the top of the ninth inning on Wednesday night, head coach Rayner Noble decided he would go with a different closer this time sophomore centerfielder Bryan Tully. In his first collegiate-career pitching appearance, Tully came in relief of junior closer Clayton Boone with the opportunity to pick up a save.

However, Tully's moment was short-lived. He walked Bearkats' Daniel Cox and Gregory O'Neill to open the inning, putting runners at first and second with no outs, and he found himself in a tough spot early on. By that time Noble had seen enough, calling to the bullpen for junior right-hander Shea Hancock while sending Tully back to center field. Hancock took it from there, striking out the next two batters and inducing a fly ball to left field as the Cougars held on for a 4-3 win at Cougar Field.



Senior southpaw Matt Farrington pitched his way to a victory in Wednesday's 4-3 win over Sam Houston State. Farrington went 7.1 innings and allowed two earned runs.
Gregory Bohuslav/
The Daily Cougar

"Bryan's always in the locker room talking about (how) he can pitch, and he got his opportunity tonight," Hancock said after picking up his first save of the season. 

"I had to go in there and save him, but we might see some more of Bryan Tully. He's got a great arm."

Tully may not have had his best stuff tonight, but senior southpaw Matt Farrington was on target, keeping the Bearkats off balance most of the night with a devastating change-up. Farrington (4-4, 4.50 ERA) picked up the victory after tossing 7.1 innings and allowing three runs -- two earned -- on six hits while striking out six.

The Cougars (29-15) failed to produce an extra-base hit, but managed to produce enough offense with nine hits. UH jumped out to a 2-0 lead off Bearkat starter Zach Duncan (0-3, 4.25) in the first after junior Brad Lincoln drove in sophomore Jake Stewart from third base with a sacrifice fly to left field, and senior Matt Weston hit a single up the middle that scored senior second baseman Isa Garcia.

Sam Houston State (22-21) cut the deficit in half with a run in the fourth off Karl Krailo's sacrifice fly RBI. The Cougars pushed their lead to 4-1 in the seventh after Garcia drove in Stewart with a sacrifice fly to right, and Lincoln later scored from third on a wild pitch.

The Bearkats put two runners on against Farrington in the eighth with one out, prompting Noble to bring in Boone. Boone gave up a looping fly ball to Krailo that sophomore right fielder Chris Joseph failed to come up with, allowing Jeremy Holzbach to score from third. The next batter, Matt Fry, hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Dustin Martin and pull the Bearkats within a run heading into the ninth.

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