HOUSTON, TEXAS (Apeil 21, 2011) The University of Houston baseball team gave up three runs in the ninth inning, allowing the East Carolina Pirates to earn a 5-4 comeback win in 12 innings in the series opener Thursday night at Cougar Field.
With the loss, Houston falls to 19-20 on the season and 6-4 in Conference USA play.
UH held a 4-1 lead when Chase McDonald began a three-run rally with a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Back-to-back singles put two runners on base before Ben Fultz tripled to right center to tie the score, 4-4.
The score remained tied until the 12th inning when Trent Whitehead singled to left field, allowing Jack Reinheimer to score after leading off the inning with a walk.
In his first appearance on the mound since the 2009 season, junior Jared Ray pitched four solid innings. He gave up one run on three hits with a strikeout.
Sophomore M.P. Cokinos had a successful day at the plate, connecting on two hits with two RBIs. Junior John Cannon added two hits and scored a run.
After the Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, Cannon tied the score in the fifth on a wild pitch by ECU pitcher Mike Wright.
The Cougars took control of the game in their next at bat. With the bases loaded, Cokinos doubled to left field and Fultzmishandled the ball allowing three runs to score and the Cougars to take a 4-1 lead.
The series against East Carolina will continue at 6:30 p.m. Friday with the finale against the Pirates scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.