TAMPA — What a difference a day makes. After a 2-1 thriller last night, the Houston Cougars led by junior Kyle Survance collected 11 hits, including three home runs, to beat USF 9-8 at USF Baseball Stadium, evening the weekend series with the rubber game to be played at 1PM tomorrow.
Survance got things started early and took the first pitch he saw of the game over the right field wall for a 1-0 Houston lead. He would finish his day 4 for 5 with three runs scored and an RBI.
“Kyle was being aggressive. We have worked on some things with his swing the last week, and I’m glad to see it pay off for him” said Houston head coach Todd Whitting. ” The team you saw today is the team I thought we would have all year long, where I really thought we would be offensive, with injuries and other things going on, it hasn’t always showed up for us consistently. We needed to play offense today, really good offensive day for us. It was nice to see that part of the game show up”.
USF answered quickly in the bottom half of the inning when Luke Borders delivered a two run double with line drive to centerfield scoring Kyle Teaf and Levi Borders.
That was only the beginning of what was to come.
The Cougars scored five runs in the third on home runs by Ian Rice and Jacob Campbell and two USF errors. Campbel finished his day with four RBI.
The Bulls scratched out a run in the bottom half of the fifth on a Levi Borders solo home run, before Houston plated three more runs in the sixth for a 9-4 lead.
USF scored one run the the eighth when Austin Lueck brought home Levi Borders from third with a sacrifice fly.
Levi Borders then hit his second home run of the day in the ninth to cut the deficit to 9-7.
With two outs Luke Maglich joined the home run barrage with a solo shot of his own.
Andres Leal struck out against flame thrower Seth Romero and the Bulls comeback fell short with a 9-8 loss.
Casey Mulholland labored through six innings allowing nine runs, eight earned. He struck out three and walked three on 92 pitches, taking the loss for USF.
Kyle Dowdy pitched into the ninth for Houston, giving up six runs , five earned and 14 hits on 114 pitches. He struck out six and walked two and recorded his sixth win of the season.
“That game for us was lost early on with sloppy base running and sloppy defense, that’s the bottom line.” said USF head coach Mark Kingston. “Neither pitcher was as sharp as last night and the offenses took advantage of it. We swung the bats well, scored one run less than they did and lost today”.
The two teams combined for 27 hits and 17 runs, including six home runs.
Houston has now hit 33 homeruns this season. It only hit 17 in 2014.
USF now has 31 home runs after 9 in 2014.
Kyle Teaf, Kevin Merrell, Levi Borders, Luke Borders, Luke Maglich, make up the first five batters in the Bulls lineup, and combined for 13 hits.
Baseball logic dictates that you should win that game , so much for baseball logic.