Walk-off win puts Cougars back on track
The Cougars were down with the blues after having lost their final three road games before coming home, but turned things around with a 4-3 walk-off win over the Tulane Green Wave for the first game of series on Friday night at Cougar Field.
The game started off with a stalemate as both teams remained scoreless throughout the first three innings. At the bottom of the fourth, however, Houston jumped onto the scoreboard as junior third baseman Justin Montemayor scored junior designated hitter Jacob Campbell.
The game went back and forth as both teams would score on different occasions, tying the game all the way to the ninth inning. Tulane tried to hold Houston off, but with an effort by junior second baseman Josh Vidales and Campbell, the Cougars took the victory after an RBI-double scored Vidales.
“It’s a lot more fun to walk somebody off than to get walked off on,” said head coach Todd Whitting. “It was a good game tonight; we needed one like this. I thought we played hard throughout. Tulane has got a good ball club. We had some things go wrong for us tonight, but they did a tremendous job; they just kept playing.”
The walk-off win snapped the Cougars’ three-game losing streak, improving their record to 22-12 as well as their standing in the American Athletic Conference to a 3-4 after winning against a conference rival.
“I was just looking for a good pitch and deciding what the situation is, whether I need to elevate it or get a base hit,” said Campbell regarding on his approach at the plate with a tight ballgame.
Sophomore Andrew Lantrip pitched for 6.2 innings, giving up three runs and seven hits, striking out five and walking only two on his tenure. His reliever, junior Patrick Weigel would pitch for the rest of the game, striking out only two batters without giving a run or hit.
In the sixth inning, freshman outfielder Zac Taylor pinch hit for junior centerfielder Ashford Fullmer while another freshman, outfielder Corey Julks, pinch hit for junior Robert Grilli. The move improved Houston’s ball game a bit as Julks went 1-1 with a hit and an RBI.
“We could’ve (played better), but we won the game,” said Whitting. “I make decisions on what gives us the best chance to win. I’ll take playing bad and winning all day long.”