Johnston Leads No. 5 Texas Past Houston, 6-5

For the second straight day, it took a 2B <B>Seth Johnston </B>homer to give Texas the lead as he delivered a seventh-inning round-tripper to break a 5-5 deadlock and send the No. 5 Longhorns (9-0) to a 6-5 victory over Houston (1-2) in front of 12,169 at the Minute Maid College Classic in Houston Sunday.

Johnston was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after batting .500 (5-for-10) for the weekend with four RBI, three stolen bases and two home runs as the Longhorns were the only team in the field to go 3-0.

Reliever J. Brent Cox earned his first win of the season after working 2-2/3 scoreless frames

The Cougars broke on top 1-0 in the top of the first with a leadoff single from Travis Tully, who stole second and then scored on Patrick Breen's RBI base hit. Houston loaded the bases in that first inning, but UT starter Kyle McCulloch tallied a strikeout and then got Rob Johnson to line out to 1B Curtis Thigpen to end the threat. UH extended its advantage to 4-0 as a pair of doubles sandwiched around an error as well as a fielder's choice followed by a RBI-single from Brett Cooley yielded three scores.

Reliever Kyle Yates gave Texas a chance to rally by throwing a career-best five innings and surrendering only one run on four hits while fanning a career-high seven.

The Horns answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the third as back-to-back singles from Scott Dodge and Nathan Warrick were followed by a two-RBI double off the bat of Dooley Prince, C Taylor Teagarden's run-scoring double and 3B J.D. Reininger's RBI-groundout. The next inning, Texas grabbed its first lead of the contest at 5-4 when Drew Stubbs' leadoff single combined with a sacrifice, a throwing error and consecutive hit batters produced a two-out, unearned score.

The score remained until the seventh when Houston received one-out doubles from Cooley and Stuart Musslewhite to plate a run. With the bases loaded, Cox posted a strikeout and forced a ground ball to keep the game knotted at 5-5. Then, in the bottom of the frame with two outs, Johnston connected on his second homer in as many games to pull Texas back in front, 6-5.

Following a scoreless eighth, the game moved to the ninth where Cooley led off with a double to place the tying run in scoring position for the Cougars. But Cox retired the next two batters on a strikeout and a fly ball to left before an intentional walk brought up pinch-hitter Brian Martin. On a 1-1 pitch, Martin laced a fly ball into left field but Warrick's diving grab ended UH's upset bid.

Warrick went 2-for-3 with a run scored and two stolen bases while Prince tallied a pair of RBI.

Joining Johnston on the All Tournament team were Yates, Reininger and P Justin Simmons who tossed five shutout innings against Ohio State during the first day of competition.

Texas returns to Disch-Falk Field for a 2:30 p.m. (CST) game against Texas State on Tuesday.

Horns Digest Top Stories