Baseball: Homers lift Horns over Cougs

The Enron jinx is over. No, the Houston energy company's fortunes didn't change Saturday, but UT's fortunes in the park that bears the company's name certainly did.

The Horns finally scratched the win column in the Astros' stadium Saturday night after four straight losses spanning the last two seasons. Despite a top-of-the-ninth two-run rally by U of H, Texas held on to beat the Cougars 7-6.

"Yes, that's the same team that played last night," Augie Garrido said post-game after his team's 12-hit, seven-run performance. The Horns managed just one run and four hits in Friday's first game vs. TCU.

After spotting Houston a 4-1 lead through five-and-a-half, Texas (3-1) erupted for five two-out runs in the bottom of the sixth, punctuated by back-to-back homers from LF Eric Sultemeier and 3B J.D. Reininger. Sultemeier stroked a 1-2 offering from UH reliever Bryan Harris high off the facade above the short left field porch at Enron to give the Horns their first lead of the weekend at 5-4.

Garrido called Sultemeier's homer the game's turning point. "It turned the momentum," he said. "It took the pressure off a little bit and they responded."

Reininger responded by blasting another Harris 1-2 pitch, giving the ball a 420-foot ride over the left center field fence.

SS Michael Hollimon, who replaced Omar Quintanilla at short in the Texas line-up, continued the Longhorn power surge with a seventh inning shot into the visitor's bullpen in right center to extend the UT lead to 7-4. The solo shot was Hollimon's second long ball of the season.

"He's got pop," Garrido said. The coach also called him a no-nonsense, intense, Pete Rose-type player after the freshman's home run sprint.

Junior lefty Brad Halsey started on the mound for Texas, surrendering three runs before being pulled for sophomore Tim McGough with two outs in the fourth. McGough limited the Cougars to one run in his 4-1/3 innings of work to earn his first win of the season.

"I think we found a pitcher tonight," the head coach said of McGough, who could find himself in the starting rotation later in the season with more performances like the one in Enron.

True freshman Huston Street came on with two on and no outs in the ninth and despite giving up a one-out, two-RBI single to Chris Snyder (both runs were charged to McGough), picked up the save by forcing Houston SS Jesse Crain into a 5-4-3 game-ending double play.

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