Baseball Splits With Houston

 In his 134th consecutive start, senior shortstop Kenny Socorro laced a two-run game-winning single to right-centerfield on a full count with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to take the night cap 4-3 against Houston (18-19, 5-3 C-USA) at Power Park on Friday night. Marshall (14-19, 2-6 C-USA) dropped the first game of the doubleheader by a 12-1 score.

Game 1: Houston 12, Marshall 1
Houston scored in seven of the nine innings and MU made five miscues as the Cougars captured game one, 12-1.
M.P. Cokinos picked up three RBI, thanks to a run scoring single in the first and two-run homer to left in the third, the first hit at Power Park this season, to give UH the early 3-0 lead.
The Cougars added a run in the fourth and fifth frames and two more in the seventh before Marshall broke up the shutout bid from starter Matt Creel (5-4). Gray Stafford scored the lone Herd run on a two-out errant throw, hit by Victor Ramos in the seventh.
UH added a four spot in the eighth and another run in the top of the ninth to round out the first game’s scoring.
MU had ample opportunities to score, stranding 10 base runners, including the bases loaded in the fifth.
Creel was dominate on the Cougs’ bump, tossing the first 6.2 innings, surrendering just one unearned run on three hits. The righty walked four and struck out two.
Isaac Ballou, Victor Gomez and G.Stafford supplied the three singles in the MU box score.
Aaron Blair (0-3) was saddled with the loss, tossing the first three frames, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits with three punch outs.
Cokinos led the UH 15-hit attack, with a 4-for-6 with four RBI. Leadoff hitter Landon Appling went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and five RBI.
Game 2: Marshall 4, Houston 3
Marshall rebounded after a tough game one to notch a run in the bottom of the first. Victor Ramos got the ball rolling for the Herd, doubling down the left field line and moved over to third on a wild pitch from UH starter Jordan Lewis. The next batter, Isaac Ballou, knocked in Ramos with a groundout to second to take the early lead.
In the third, the Cougs brought the score square as Caleb Ramsay dunked in a base hit to left to score teammate Joel Ansley.
Mike Mason who had been on top of his game all night for the Herd, finally fell into trouble in the top of the seventh. Codey Morehouse started the rally with a one-out single and later scored on a Ryan Still bleeder to left to give UH the lead, 2-1. It appeared as though the visitors would add an insurance run as Appling laced a base hit up the middle with Ansley on second, but Ballou fired a cannon-like toss to catcher Rhett Stafford for the inning-ending putout at the plate. 
The Herd answered right back with an apparent rally of its own in the bottom half of the frame, as V.Gomez reached on an error. Following a sac bunt from Louie Helmburg, G.Stafford continued to swing a hot bat with a single to center, to put MU base runners on the corners. UH reliever Jordan Mannisto (3-2) escaped with the one-run lead still intact but inducing an inning ending double play to send the game to the eighth.
In the bottom of the eighth Ballou knocked in Socorro with a single to right to even the game at 2-all.
Creel, the game one winner, roped a one-out double to left bringing home John Cannon off reliever Josh King (2-1) in the top of the ninth, which appeared to the dagger to the Herd’s heart.
The resilient MU squad would not go quietly in the ninth against reliever Mannisto. Steven Ross reached base on fielder’s choice and G.Stafford laced a base hit with two down. Thor Meeks drew a four-pitch walk to set the stage for Socorro. 
The slick handed middle infielder worked the count to 3-1 before Houston opted to bring in third baseman Codey Morehouse to the mound. The righty fired a strike to bring the count full, before Socorro fouled off consecutive pitches. On the next pitch, Socorro lined the game-winner to right-centerfield scoring Ross and G.Stafford to earn the come-from-behind win.
Mason, who did not figure in the decision, tossed a career-high 7.1 innings, giving up two runs (both earned) on seven hits. The lefty did not issue a free pass, fired eight strikeouts and received nine ground outs and four fly outs.
King picked his second win of the season, recording the final five outs.
Ballou knocked in the other two runs for the Herd.
UP NEXT: Marshall and Houston are scheduled to play the series finale on Sunday at 11 a.m.

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