Cougars clinch spot in championship game with 7-6, 14-inning win over No. 21 Southern Miss
Houston will play the winner of No. 1 Rice and No. 4 UCF on Saturday
The Cougars (27-30) trailed 6-5 going to the bottom of the eighth, but pushed across a run to force extra innings before winning on a walk-off bunt by Ryan Still in the 14th.
Houston took a 1-0 lead in the third when Codey Morehouse scored on a failed pickoff attempt by Southern Miss starter Boomer Scarborough.
It added to its lead in the fifth when M.P. Cokinos managed a two-run, two-out single to make it 3-0.
The Golden Eagles put up a three-spot in the sixth to pull even.
Diliberto walked and Kameron Brunty doubled down the right field line to put two in scoring position with no outs. Graeter flew out to center to get USM on the board before a Bourgeois single and Rodriguez groundout made it 3-3.
Houston responded with two in bottom of the inning to take a 5-3 advantage.
Chase Jensen led off with a double, but it looked as though the Cougars may strand him after Ansley and Cannon struck out. However, Codey Morehouse came through with a double down the left field line and Appling proceeded to single to plate him.
Southern Miss (39-16) surged ahead with another three-spot in the seventh.
Fowler, Diliberto and Brunty delivered consecutive one-out singles. On Brunty's infield single, a throwing error by the shortstop allowed Fowler to score. With two outs, B.A. Vollmuth was intentionally walked to load the bases. Marc Bourgeois' two-run single put USM ahead, 6-5.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Caleb Ramsey came through with a clutch triple that scored Landon Appling to make it 6-6. Appling had reached via a one out walk.
From that point, USM's Collin Cargill and Houston's Codey Morehouse began to match each other zero for zero.
Cargill, who fell to 6-4 with the loss, allowed just one run--it was unearned--on five hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Codey Morehouse surrendered just a pair of hits in 6 1/3 innings of work while improving to 3-5.
Kameron Brunty went 4-for-7 to lead Southern Miss. Marc Bourgeois finished with three hits and three RBI.
Morehouse had three hits to lead Houston's 14-hit effort. Four other Cougars finished with two hits each.
Houston will play Tulane on Friday at 5pm (EST) before facing either Rice or UCF in Saturday's title game at 8pm (EST).
No. 21 Southern Miss will play No. 25 East Carolina at 8:30 p.m. on Friday.