Late Tiger Rally Comes Up Short as Houston Clinches Sweep Of Memphis With 8-6 Victory
May 9, 2004
HOUSTON - Houston finished off a sweep of the University of Memphis baseball team with a 8-6 victory in Conference USA action Sunday at Cougar Field. The Tigers rallied late, but came up short despite three-hit performances by Ryan Martin and Bill Moss.
Memphis (22-23, 10-13 C-USA) could not overcome a 14-hit attack by the Cougars (24-25, 15-9 C-USA) as Matt Farrington came up big at the plate and on the mound for the home team. Farrington went 2-for-5 with three RBI and picked up the save in a tight spot in the ninth inning.
Moss extended his hitting streak to 13 games and Kyle Scott added a home run and a double, but the Tigers could not muster enough offense to salvage a game in the series. UH starter Austin Sumerlin surrendered just one run in five innings as he left with a 6-1 lead.
Memphis starter Bill Edwards breezed through the first inning, but got into trouble in the second allowing a pair of Cougar runs. Catcher Rob Johnson drove in a run with a double, but was tossed out at third trying to advance on a throw to the plate. That proved costly for Houston as Nick Bott belted a solo home run in the next at bat.
The Tigers had a chance to score in the third, but a nice diving catch in rightfield by Farrington prevented that as he snagged a liner off the bat of Kurt Welch. Michael Lewis was stranded on third after lacing a double down the leftfield line. Leftfielder Kevin Roberts took extra bases away from Ryan Martin in the fourth as he made a leaping catch at the top of the wall.
Scott put the Tigers on the scoreboard leading off the fifth inning with a solo home run. It was Scott's fifth home run of the season.
The Cougars loaded the bases in the fifth without getting the ball out of the infield. A hit batsmen and two bunt singles loaded them for Farrington who banged a double off the centerfield wall to score two. Thanos Papavasiliou sent a single back through the box to drive in two more to give Houston its 6-1 lead.
Edwards gave way to Brandon Rowan after the two-run single and the left-hander promptly retired the first three he faced to keep the Tigers within five runs.
UH reliever Rickey Putman replaced Sumerlin to start the sixth and the change ignited the Memphis offense. Putman retired the first two batters, but Moss started a two-out rally with a double to left-center. Brent Dlugach drew a walk and both runners scored on a double by Ryan Martin. Scott followed with a RBI-double pulling the Tigers within two runs at 6-4.
Houston loaded the bases again in the sixth with no outs, but managed just one run this time as the Tigers made a pair of errors in the frame. Rowan got Cole Bruce to ground into an inning-ending double play to end the threat.
Garrett Mock, who got the last out of the sixth for the Cougars, struck out four of the five batters he faced surrendering only a bloop single to Chad House. The single extended Houses' hitting streak to a career-long nine games.
Houston added a run in the seventh on a RBI-single by Stuart Musslewhite. Brett Logan scored after he was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch.
Martin added his third double of the game in the eighth driving in Dlugach, who had reached on a fielder's choice. The double cut the Cougars' lead to 8-5. Memphis threatened again in the ninth scoring a run on a RBI-single by Kurt Welch, but that would be as close as the Tigers would get.
Farrington, who came gave up the single to Welch, walked Dlugach loading the bases for Martin. However, the left-hander got Martin to hit into a comebacker that ended the game giving Farrington his first save of the season. Sumerlin earned the win improving to 3-1 while Edwards was charged with the loss falling to 3-3.
The Tigers stay on the road for a two-game road trip to Murfreesboro on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both of those contests are set to begin at 7 p.m.