Lael Lockhart, Jr. tossed a career-high 7.2 scoreless innings, while Jared Triolo led a trio of Cougars with multiple hits helping Houston to a 2-0 win over No. 11 ECU in American Athletic Conference action at Schroeder Park Friday night. With the win the Cougars improve to 17-13 overall and 3-4 in league play, while the Pirates’ 10-game win streak came to an end as they fall to 22-7 on the year and 6-1 in conference action.
Houston took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back. Triolo singled to get things going and moved to second on a stolen base with one out. After Joe Davis flew out to center pushing Triolo to third, Rey Fuentes III reached on throwing error by Brady Lloyd allowing Triolo to score the first run of the contest.
Lockhart (2-4) earned the win after his 7.2 scoreless frames where he allowed four hits, walked one and struck out a pair. Fred Villarreal notched his seventh save of the season giving up a hit while walking one and fanning one in 1.1 innings of relief.
Jake Agnos (4-2) suffered the loss surrendering both runs (one earned) on six hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in 5.2 frames. Cam Colmore (1 H, 2 BBs) and Ryder Giles (1 H, 2 Ks) each worked a scoreless frame, while Zach Barnes allowed a walk and struck out one in his one-third of a stanza.
Triolo added to the Cougars lead in the third belting his fourth homer of the season for a 2-0 advantage.
ECU didn’t register its first hit of the contest until the fifth inning when Lloyd reached on an infield single. The Pirates had runners reach in the first (error), third (hit by pitch) and fourth (error) innings, but wasn’t able to cash in. Fuentes made the play of the game with his diving grab down the left field line off of Burleson’s bat in the fourth and threw back to second doubling up Spencer Brickhouse to end the frame.
Lloyd and Bryant Packard each tallied multiple hits on the night, while Brickhouse registered the other base knock with his double in the ninth inning.
Triolo reached base four times (three hits, walk) to lead the Cougars offense. Derrick Cherry and Fuentes added two hits as the trio tallied seven of the eight base knocks in the contest.
The two clubs will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 6 starting at 2 p.m. (ET). Sunday’s game was moved up a day due to potential rain in the area later in the afternoon.