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Lantrip leads Cougars to NCAA Houston Regional round 2

Despite a rocky start that seemed to be the beginning of a long night, Houston’s sophomore starting pitcher Andrew Lantrip managed to keep his head in the game to give the Cougars a 6-4 victory and the right to advance to the next round in the NCAA Houston Regional.

Friday night’s game didn’t look too favorable for Lantrip, as things didn’t seemed to go right for him in the first inning. At the first pitch, he gave up his run of the night with two more batters managing to get a hit to load all bases.

With no outs on top of the first, ‘Mr. Friday Night’ gave up his first run with a single. It didn’t stop there as another single was hit for a 2-RBI, giving the Huskies a three-point lead.

Things started brighten up after the Cougars got the first batter out on the top of the second, however, it was dark again when the Huskies’ second batter of the lineup hit a solo home run to left field.

Even so, the momentum slowly began to shift once Lantrip began to find his rhythm on top of the fourth, keeping the huskies at bay with only four runs for the rest of the game.

“(The) first two innings I felt like I was overthrowing,” Lantrip said. “I wasn’t hitting on the spot, I just didn’t have a great feel for everything. Later in the game, the fast ball was out with a little more jump out of hand.”

Last night’s game marks Lantrip’s third complete game of the year and his ninth win of his sophomore career.

“I really didn’t think back to the first two innings once I got to the 9th,” Lantrip said. “I was just right in the moment and I try to go pitch by pitch to finish the thing off because the main thing was saving the bullpen and finishing the game.”

Lantrip’s management of the situation earned praise from Houston’s head coach Todd Whitting.

“(Lantrip) went out and struggled early and gave up four runs (in) the first two innings and then (he) settled in,” Whitting said. “From that point forward he (was) as good as he’s been all year long. I’m extremely proud of him.”

With the win on Friday, the Cougars advance to the next round and will play Louisiana’s Raging Cajuns at 7 p.m. in game four of the 2015 NCAA Houston Regional. The game will air on ESPN3.

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