Baseball Sports

Tiger country proves perfect for Cougar victory

All the pieces were there. An upstart UH team and one of the more prominent baseball squads on the ledger: the LSU Tigers. All the pieces were there for the knockdown, drag out, use-every-player-on-the-roster type of game  the kind that gets people on their feet.

Instead, UH, like a racehorse that had waited its entire life for this moment, took a lead and never let LSU get close, going full a 12-2 win and a spot in the NCAA Super Regionals, its first since 2003. Head coach Todd Whitting was not oblivious to any part of the performance.

“”Wow  we came out of the gates, obviously got down two runs and it’s kind of how we are. We just come right back and answer them and then put up the big seven-run inning. Never really gave in – never really gave LSU a chance to get back in the thing,” said Whitting after UH had cemented its 48th win of the season.

The blitzkrieg of runs, which began in the third, was backed up by the men on the mound. While not the all hands on deck “Johnny Wholestaff” that Whitting jokingly predicted after Sunday night’s win against LSU, the game did show the dominant nature of UH pitching, with junior reliever Jared Robinson relieving Andrew Lantrip early on and staying in to finish the game. Robinson pitched 6.1 innings of shutout baseball while racking up eight strikeouts.

“Jared Robinson, what do you say about that? That’s one of the best pitching performances that I’ve ever been a part of. I’ve been fortunate enough to be around some great pitchers,” Whitting said.

The 12 runs mainly spread across the bats of Kyle Survance, Connor Hollis, Michael Pyeatt, Landon Appling and Ashford Fulmer, who each knocked in two. The dozen runs, coupled with five from last night, did, in Whitting’s words, help keep LSU on the ropes.

“Momentum is a huge thing,” Whitting said. “To be able to steal momentum in this ballpark, which I think is the toughest place to play in college baseball, especially you’re facing an LSU team that was the hottest team in baseball  you know coming off of an SEC Championship. This place is rocking and rolling. To grab that momentum last night and be able to play it through to today, you just got to tip your hat to our club. I talk to them all the time about  will is an amazing thing. The will to win can make you do phenomenal things, and that’s what happened this weekend.”

The win has secured UH a spot in the Super Regionals against UT, and will be hosted by UT at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin. UH and UT will compete in a best-of-three tournament starting Friday at 4 p.m. airing live on ESPN2.

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