HOUSTON – Houston Baseball starter Jared West struck out a career-high 11 and the Cougars rallied late, which included a five-run eighth to complete the weekend sweep of College of Charleston with its 7-1 win on Sunday afternoon at Cougar Field
The win propelled Houston’s record to 19-4 on the year and improved its home record to an impressive 15-1 mark. With the win, the Cougars have now won eight of the last nine games.
The weekend sweep was the fourth of the year for Houston as the team opened with back-to-back sweeps of Nicholls State and Michigan and earned a series sweep over Towson last weekend. The Cougars are now 12-0 at home on the weekends.
Looking to bounce back as Houston’s Sunday starter, sophomore Jared West (8.0,4,1,1,0,11) was more than impressive as the Frierson, La. native went a career-high 8.0 innings and struck out a career-best 11. The lefty allowed just one run on four hits and didn’t issue a walk in his 109-pitch outing. With the win, West improved to 2-1 on the year.
The last time a Houston Cougar had at least 11 strikeouts came back on April 13, 2013 when RHP Austin Pruitt fanned 12 Seton Hall hitters at Cougar Field.
Houston’s offense didn’t come alive until the seventh, but the Cougars made the most of their at-bats late in the game, tallying seven runs in the final two innings.
It was a Josh Vidales two-out single up the middle in the seventh that put Houston ahead and from there, the Cougars continued to score as they added five runs on two hits in the eighth.
Houston once again worked the count and drew eight walks in the game, while forcingCofC’s starer into 110 pitches in just 6.2 innings. All seven RBI in today’s game came with two outs in the inning.
The Cougars tallied nine hits, led by Vidales’ 1-for-4 effort with a walk, one run scored and three RBI. Senior Caleb Barker followed with a 2-for-5 day, plating two, while sophomore Justin Montemayor (2x4, 2 R) and junior Michael Pyeatt(2x3, 3B) each added two base hits.
Contributing as well to the offense was senior Casey Grayson (1x2, 2 R, RBI, 3 BB) and sophomore Ashford Fulmer (0x1, RBI) with RBI, while senior Frankie Ratcliff(1x5, R, 2B).
Houston had its chances early as the Cougars stranded bases loaded in the first twoinnings. College of Charleston was held without a runner in scoring position until the fourth when it capitalized on three straight base knocks to go up1-0.
It took seven innings for Houston to score, but it came in a big way when Vidales drove a two-out single up the middle, scoring Grayson and Montemayor – who reached on a walk and single, respectively.
Appling, Ratcliff and Grayson combined to see 19 pitches in their eighth inning at-bats, which led to another Houston run when Grayson connected on a two-out pitch through the left side, plating Appling who drew a one-out hit-by-pitch and moved over via a walk, fielder’s choice.
Vidales and Fulmer each picked up an RBI after drawing bases loaded walks to extendHouston’s lead to 7-1 in the eighth.
After a long wait, West was relieved by senior Aaron Stewart (0.1,0,0,0,1,1) struck out one and handed the ball over to junior Jared Robinson (0.2,0,0,0,0,0) got the final two outs of the game to close out the weekend sweep in relief.
College of Charleston fell to 16-7 on the year as starter Nathan Helvey (6.2,5,2,1,4,2) allowed one earned run on five hits and four walks in 6.2 innings for the loss – falling to 2-2 on the season.