Timely hitting leads UH to first AAC series win

UH has has averaged more than six runs a game in the last four games. | Jenna Frenzel/The Daily Cougar

UH has averaged more than six runs a game in the last four games.  |  Jenna Frenzel/The Daily Cougar

The Cougars’ pitching staff lived up to their national ranking this weekend.

Sophomore pitcher Jared West held Memphis (16-11, 2-4) to only two runs after 5.1 innings. The combination of relievers, senior Chase Wellbrock and junior Jared Robinson, were brought in to close out the game and allowed only two hits to help UH (22-5, 2-1) defeat Memphis 6-2 on Sunday.

The win in the rubber match gave UH a win in its first American Athletic Conference series.

The Cougars’ defense remained errorless and was bolstered by an offense that scored six runs on eight hits.

“When we get our offense going and get the wheels in motion, we can be pretty tough at times,” said head coach Todd Whitting. “We have to continue to set the table and do anything we can to get runners on base home.”

The Cougars were led to a win by sophomore right fielder Kyle Survance, who went 2-3 at the plate with two singles and two walks. He also contributed on the base path, setting a career high during Sunday’s series-clinching win.

“I felt like I was getting some pretty good jumps today to keep getting into scoring position,” Survance said, after achieving a career high with four stolen bases.

“I was just trying to get on base as much as I could. I was fortunate enough to get a few stolen bases in the process. My goal was to get into scoring position and have the guys bring me home. That combination helped us out today.”

UH got on the board early, scoring two runs on three hits in the first inning with senior first baseman Casey Grayson’s infield single and senior catcher Caleb Barker’s sacrifice fly.

In the sixth inning, the Tigers tied the game up with a two-run homer that led to West’s exit from the mound. Robinson and Wellbrock held Memphis scoreless the rest of the way.

“I try to prepare myself from the beginning of the day and prepare myself to go in at any time,” said senior pitcher Chase Wellbrock.

Wellbrock picked up the win after he entered the game in the seventh inning, right before the Cougars regained the lead. Freshman third baseman Jordan Stading scored an unearned run in the seventh before the Cougars tacked on three insurance runs in the eighth.

However, with Wellbrock on the mound, one run was all UH needed. He struck out three batters in his 2.2 innings and allowed only one hit.

“I just came in to do my job and the defense had my back by doing theirs,” Wellbrock said.

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