Bats come alive as Cougars romp Cowboys
The No. 21 Cougars put up 12 hits and a solid pitching effort in their 9-2 victory Tuesday evening over the McNeese State Cowboys at Cougar Field.
The top of the order provided a lot of offense on the night, as junior second-baseman Josh Vidales and junior right-fielder Kyle Survance combined for four hits, five RBI and three runs scored on the night.
The Cougars got on the score board early as Survance hit for a single, stole second and advanced to third on a sac-bunt, before scoring on a sac-fly to center field.
In the second inning freshman left-fielder Corey Julks crushed his first career homerun as a Cougar, to push the score to 2-0.
Freshman shortstop Connor Wong and junior catcher Ian Rice would also cross the plate in the inning to push the lead to 4-0.
McNeese State tried to rally back in the eighth inning, scoring two runs and cutting the lead to 4-2.
“Whenever we gave up those two runs you know it hurts,” said Vidales. “Coming in within two in the game, but it showed big maturity from the team to come out there in the eighth and put up a five spot just to seal the coffin.”
The Cougars responded quickly in the bottom of the frame, as junior third-baseman Justin Montemayor and Rice scored on a Survance hit. Vidales recorded his third triple of the year to bring home junior center-fielder Ashford Fulmer and Survance. Vidales closed out the inning scoring a run of his own and extending the lead to 9-2.
“The offense played well you know we left a few guys on early, but when they scored we came back and scored five,” head coach Todd Whitting said, “that’s what good teams tend to do, you know. They answer back, so I’m really proud of their effort tonight.”
Senior starting pitcher David Longville went seven and two-thirds innings, allowing just four hits and a walk to one strikeout, with the only two runs coming as unearned runs.
With the win, Longville is now 5-2 on the season with a 2.70 ERA in eight starts this season.
“Well it was another really good start by David Longville. He got into a little trouble there in that one inning. But other than that on a tough night to pitch, with the wind blowing out I thought he did a good job on keeping the ball down,” said Whitting. “and Weigel was good out of the bullpen kind of shutting their little bit of momentum they had. You know kind of taking that and turning it off so it was good.”
Houston now moves to 33-16 overall on the season, following the out-of-conference game, and will face East Carolina in a three game series beginning May 8. Both teams are currently tied for first place in the AAC.
“It’s a big motivation and big momentum going into this weekend’s series going up against ECU,” Vidales said, “we’re both tied for first. This could have easily been a trap game for us, and it just feels good to come out here and see 12 hits up on the board going into this weekend.”