Reliever gives UHV second wind
April 9, 2011 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated April 9, 2011 at 11:10 p.m.
Pete Ontiveros turned what had been an ill wind into a breath of fresh air for the University of Houston-Victoria.
Ontiveros pitched three innings of scoreless relief to lead the Jaguars to a 14-8 win over East Texas Baptist University in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday at Riverside Stadium.
The Tigers (10-23) won the first game 9-7, and were leading 8-7 when Ontiveros came to the mound to start the fifth inning.
"I came in there and tried to throw strikes," Ontiveros said. "I was able to get ahead of the hitters and that's the important thing. It worked out to my benefit."
Ontiveros is normally the closer for the Jaguars (23-21), and had struggled against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Thursday.
But he yielded only two singles and had seven strikeouts, including six in a row before retiring the final batter on a fly ball.
"Pete, he was sharp today," said UHV coach Terry Puhl. "It was nice to see that because he had a tough outing the other day, too. It was good for him to get back out there and really work. Not just a one-inning situation like he normally does.
"He's the type of guy who probably could be a starter on a lot of teams. He fills a role for us. Without Pete we probably don't win the game."
The wind was blowing out to left field and the teams combined for 55 hits in the doubleheader, including six home runs.
"I really try not to think about it," Ontiveros said. "I realize that the flag's blowing pretty hard, but as a pitcher you've got to stay focused.
"When a pitcher comes in, you want to be able to stop the bleeding. Hitters are scattering the ball everywhere, you've got to be able to stop that. That's their momentum and you've got to stop it."
Ontiveros' pitching allowed the Jaguars to respond at the plate.
They scored four runs in the fifth and three in the sixth on David Baker's second home run of the day and sixth of the season.
"It's always good to be hitting the ball hard," said Baker, who was 5 for 7 with two home runs, a double and five RBIs in the doubleheader. "It's hitting in the cage and getting our reps in and just continue to grind it out."
UHV starter John Touchton struggled in the first game. The Tigers scored five runs in a five-hit first inning that included a two-run home run by Tristen Cooksey.
East Texas Baptist built a 9-1 lead before the Jaguars scored six runs in the seventh and had the potential tying run at the plate when the game ended.
The rally was sparked by substitutes Puhl brought off the bench, including a three-run home run by Nick Garza.
The success at the plate carried over into the second game for UHV, which had 18 hits, two short of the school record.
"The bats were kind of a little bit dead and all of a sudden," Puhl said. "These guys came out and swung the bats and woke the team up, and we really swung the bats good in the second game."
ETBU 500 400 0 - 9 13 2
UHV 010 000 6 - 7 12 1
Pete Fitzsimmons and Cayden Cundiff. John Touchton, Chase Graves (5) and Tres Tyler. W: Fitzsimmons (4-5). L: Touchton (7-4). Highlights: (ETBU) Tristen Cooksey 2 for 3, 3-run HR, 2 R; Ryan Yezak 3 for 4, 3 R, 2 RBIs; Cundiff 3 for 4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Torry Peterson 1 for 2, solo HR. (UHV) Ryan Suescun 3 for 4, R; Nick Garza 1 for 2, 3-run HR; David Baker 2 for 3, solo HR; Chance Marek 1 for 2, R, RBI; Tyler 2 for 4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Jeremy Urbano 1 for 2, R; Graves 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 SO..
ETBU 031 400 0 - 8 12 3
UHV 205 043 x - 14 18 2
Chance Cotton, Chad Cox (3), Talton Cooper (6) and Spencer Copeland. Rex Garner, Danny Lopez (4), Pete Ontiveros (5) and Brandon Bohanon. W: Ontiveros (3-2). L: Cox (1-5). Highlights: (ETBU) Ryan Yezak 2 for 5, 3B, R, RBI; Michael Cox 2 for 3, 2-run HR; Cayton Cundiff 2 for 3, 2 R. (UHV) Ontiveros 3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 7 SO; David Baker 3 for 4, 3-run HR, 2B, 4 RBIs; Tyler Steiner 3 for 4, 3 R, RBI; Ryan Suecson 2 for 4, R, 2 RBIs; Austin Kent 2 for 3, R, RBI, SB; Chance Marek 2 for 4, R, RBI; Jeremy Urbano 2 for 4, R, RBI, SB. Records: ETBU 10-23; UHV 23-21.