HOUSTON — University of Houston Baseball jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and never looked back, earning a 12-2 win over Texas Southern at Cougar Field Tuesday evening in non-conference action.
The win improved the Cougars’ overall record to 26-11, while the Tigers fell to 16-17. The win lifted theall-time Houston record over Texas Southern to a perfect 24-0.
Junior Frankie Ratcliff recorded a career-high five RBI on a three-run double and two-run single topropel the Houston offense to its nine-hit, 10-walk effort. Ratcliff finished the night 2-for-2 with three runs scored and five RBI, along with two walks and a stolen base.
Junior Caleb Barker (2x4, R, 2 RBI) and freshman Kyle Survance (2x4, 2 R) each tallied two hits, while freshmen Jacob Campbell (1x3, 2 RBI) and Justin Montemayor (1x4, R, 2 RBI) each plated two RBI on doubles down the lines.
Junior Landon Appling (1x3, 2 R) added to the hit column, while freshman Josh Vidales (3 R, 5 BB) walked five times – becoming the fifth Cougar in history to record five walks in a single-game – an individual record.
Sophomore Aaron Garza (7.0,5,2,2,2,5) tossed 7.0 complete innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts to improve to 4-2 on the season.
Sophomore Ryan Vruggink (2.0,0,0,0,0,3) pitched an extremely impressive relief effort, tossing the final 2.0 frames with three strikeouts and three groundouts.
Houston loaded the bases with one out in the first on two walks and a single before Montemayor drove a double down the right field line, plating two to put the Cougars up 2-0. Despite athreat, Texas Southern defense was able to escape the inning, stranding bases loaded.
Ratcliff’s bases clearing double into left center put Houston up 5-0 after Appling and Survance each singled and Vidales walked. Barker went on to drive in Ratcliff after he moved up a base on a wild pitch for a 6-0 advantage.
The Cougars threatened once again in the fourth, but were again left with runners on after an inning-ending double play. Texas Southern jumped on the board in the fifth with two runs on an RBI-double and RBI-single.
Houston rebounded and went on to plate six runs in the sixth to put the game out of reach. The Cougars were led by a four-hit effort, which included a two-run single by Ratcliff, an RBI-single by Barker and a two-run double by Campbell.
The Cougars faced six Tiger pitchers in the win as starter Michael Starkey (2.0,5,6,6,4,0) was tagged with the loss to fall to 0-1 after surrendering six runs on five hits and four walks.
Houston’s 10 walks tonight was the third time this season the Cougars have drawn 10 or more free passes. Vidales’ five walks was a career-high, surpassing his four-walk effort in a win over Baylor on March 2 at the College Classic.