Houston Takes Baseball Series with 10-7 Victory

Rhett Stafford went a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish and Victor Gomez launched a two-run homer, however three unearned runs in the top of the eighth for the University of Houston proved to be the difference as the Cougars captured the series finale 10-7 on Sunday at Power Park. UH took two-of-three in the series after splitting a doubleheader on Friday.

Marshall (14-20, 2-7 C-USA) recorded nine hits as a team as Victor Ramos joined R.Stafford with a multi-hit performance with two doubles and a RBI. R.Stafford also walked twice, scored twice and knocked in a run as he reached base five times in five plate appearances.

Chase Jensen, M.P. Cokinos and Matt Creel combined for seven of the Cougars 11 hits and knocked in eight of the 10 runs as UH improved to an even 19-19 overall and 6-3 in league play.

The game featured a scoreless first prior to a two-run inning from Houston in the top of the second. John Cannon drew a free pass from Herd starter Arik Sikula in front of Creel. The Cougars designated hitter attempted to put down a bunt on consecutive pitches but missed both. Creel worked the count full before launching a two-run bomb to hold an early lead.
Ramos put the Herd on the scoreboard when he laced a RBI double to right plating Justin Maynard in the third. The two-hole hitter Isaac Ballou, hit a cue shot to third for an infield single, bringing home the tying run in Kenny Socorro.
Sikula blanked the Cougars in the top of the fourth with the score still knotted at 2-all. R.Stafford began the bottom half of the inning by drawing a walk. Next to the dish was MU slugger V.Gomez as he hit a colossal bomb, his second of the year, to straight away center.

The Cougars would retake the lead by scoring five runs over the next three innings, highlighted by RBI doubles form Cokinos and Creel, while Cannon successfully executed a suicide squeeze.

Down 7-4, MU would not go down without a fight in the bottom of the seventh. Ramos and Ballou reached base thanks to a double and walk and both moved up 90 feet on stolen bases. On the steal attempt, the UH catcher airmailed a throw to third, allowing Ramos to scamper home with the Herd’s fifth run. Later in the inning, R.Stafford hit a bouncer back through the box easily scoring Ballou, slicing the deficit to a run at 7-6. The Gomez brothers (Victor and Nathan) drew consecutive walks to load the bases for Thor Meeks. The catcher hit a hard sinking ball to left field that appeared to give the Herd the lead, but UH outfielder Joel Ansley was able to haul in the catch to end the frame.

UH would push across three unearned runs in the top of the ninth, with the back-breaking hit coming on a two-run triple from Jensen to center. Houston would take a 10-6 to the ninth.

N.Gomez roped an RBI double in the bottom half and the Herd brought the tying run to the plate, but Chase Wellbrock induced a fly out to center to end the game.

Chase Dempsay (1-2) picked up the win working 1.1 innings for the Cougars, while Jesse Fernandez (2-2) was tagged with the loss, not recording an out in the sixth.

Sikula pitched the first five innings for Marshall, allowing three earned runs on four hits. The righty walked three and struck out five as he was not involved the decision.
NEXT UP: Marshall will play Eastern Kentucky at 3 p.m. on Tuesday at the Kennedy Center

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