HOUSTON — Houston Baptist rode a two-run third inning and solid pitching effort by Curtis Jones and Chris Garza to claim a 2-1 victory against No. 12 Houston on Tuesday night.
“I thought the guys did a great job,” head coach Jared Moon said. “We talked before the game about getting bunts down, moving guys over and being able to hit with guys in scoring position, and we were able to do that [Tuesday night] in the third inning.
Fortunately for us, that’s all it took.
“I though Jones did an outstanding job of keeping the leadoff guy off the bases and keeping them off balance. We would’ve liked to have gone with Josh Martinez there in the eighth, but he injured his side. Garza came in and did a great job of closing it out.”
The win for the Huskies (6-6) marked the first victory against a national-ranked opponent since March 2, 2011, when HBU downed No. 7 TCU 7-4. The win is also the first against Houston (8-5) since the 1996 season.
The Huskies did all their damage in one inning, taxing Cougars starter David Longville (1-2) for three hits, including a pair of doubles to take a 2-1 lead. Brandon Morones led off with a two-bagger down the left-field line, before advancing to third on a sac bunt by Clayton Vaughn. Zach Nehrir then plated Morones, dumping a 2-0 single into right field, later followed by Jones, who capped off the offensive surge with a double into the right-center gap that scored Nehrir.
With the lead in hand, Jones scattered two hits and retired his final 13 batters faced to keep the game 2-1 through seven innings. The Huskies then turned to Garza, who fanned two and worked around one hit in seven batters faced to pick up his first save of the season and seal the upset.
“Guys did a great job,” Moon said. “We made plays when we needed to, got hits when we needed to and were able to capitalize.”