Houston's Kaleb Poynter delivers a pitch in the second inning.

Shaking up the lineup helped the Houston baseball team get back on the winning track.

The Tigers had season-highs of 15 hits and 10 stolen bases as they snapped a two-game losing skid with a 15-2 five-inning thumping Monday of Willow Springs.

Houston coach Brent Hall moved six players into different spots in the lineup. It worked. Eight different players had hits — six had multiple hits — as the Tigers (3-3) enjoyed their most successful offensive game of the young season.

“We twisted and turned our lineup,” Hall said. “With the offensive production we got out of that, we’ll keep this lineup for at least another game or two and see how it plays out.”

For at least one game, it was extremely effective.

Senior Lucas Cooperman led the offensive charge by going 3-for-5 with a career-best five RBIs. Eli Smith, Devin Coulter, Rodney Preheim, Nathan McCarthy and Quinton Alston had two hits apiece.

The bottom of Houston’s order was especially productive. Preheim, McCarthy and Alston — the team’s No. 7-9 hitters — were a combined 6-for-8 with six runs scored.

The Tigers’ hitters had little issues on a cold, windy day.

“Sometimes when it’s that cold, you concentrate a little more because you don’t want to hit it on the handle or end cap because if you do, your hands are going to rattle off,” Hall said.

Senior Kaleb Poynter, who allowed four hits and two runs, earned his second victory of the season. He struck out six and walked seven.

Houston, which was the visiting team despite hosting the game, never trailed. Smith doubled and scored in the first and Coulter had a run-scoring single to make it 2-0.

After a scoreless bottom of the first, the Tigers sent 13 batters to the plate in a nine-run second inning that broke the game open. Preheim, who had two hits in the inning, led off the offensive outburst with a single. Nathan McCarthy walked and after an out, Cooperman doubled home a pair of runs.

Smith singled and scored along with Cooperman on Poynter’s two-run single. Coulter had another RBI hit and Preheim drove in a pair of runs with a single up the middle. McCarthy’s single brought home Preheim to complete Houston’s biggest inning of the 2011 season.

Hall said his team played well with an early advantage.

“We just felt a little more relaxed,” he said. “We got those early runs and Kaleb held them down. That gave us a little more confidence. We didn’t have pressure on us that we had to get a hit.”

Aaron Cantrell walked and scored in the third. Cooperman drove home two more runs with a double in the fourth and had a RBI single in the fifth.

Seven different players stole bases for the Tigers, who have 25 through their first six games. Smith, Poynter and Coulter had two steals apiece.

“It’s been a pleasant surprise,” Hall said. “I didn’t really expect that out of this team at the beginning of the year. It will be a bonus as the year goes on. They’ve done a good job thus far running the bases.”

On Friday, St. James scored five runs in the third inning en route to a 7-3 victory.

The Tigers stranded runners on base in six different innings. They left the bases loaded after scoring twice in the first.

Poynter had two of the team’s five hits and drove in a run.

Smith took the loss, giving up nine hits and seven runs — three earned — in seven innings. He struck out 14 and walked none.

Box scores

Monday’s game

Houston 281 22 — 15 15 0

Willow Spgs 010 01 — 2 4 3

hhs (3-3) ab r h bi rhs ab r h bi

Cprmn 1b 5 1 3 5 Welch ss 3 0 0 0

Smith ss 3 2 2 0 Wake c 3 0 0 0

Poynter p 4 1 1 3 Hummel lf 2 0 0 0

Cantrell cf 2 2 0 0 Conder p 3 1 1 0

Coulter 3b 3 2 2 2 Pringle 1b 1 1 1 0

Wllmsn 2b 4 1 1 0 Engh dh 2 0 1 0

Preheim rf 3 2 2 2 Gale 3b 2 0 1 1

McCarthy c 2 3 2 1 Protsnko cf 0 0 0 0

Alston lf 3 0 2 0 Stolba 3b 1 0 0 0

Salik 2b 2 0 0 1

Totals 29 15 15 13 Totals 19 2 4 2

2B: Cooperman 2, Smith. SB: Smith 2, Poynter 2, Coulter 2, Preheim 2, Cooperman, Williamson. SAC: Alston.

houston ip h r er bb so

Poynter, W 2-0 5 4 2 2 7 6

willow ip h r er bb so

Conder, L 1.2 9 10 9 2 2

Welch 3.1 6 5 3 5 4

Friday’s game

St. James 005 010 1 — 7 9 5

Houston 200 010 0 — 3 5 2

sjhs ab r h bi hhs (2-3) ab r h bi

Rosnw 1b 4 1 0 0 Cprmn 1b 4 1 1 0

Benton 3b 4 2 2 1 Coulter 3b 4 1 1 0

Hughes ss 4 2 2 0 Poynter ss 4 0 2 1

John 2b 4 0 0 0 Smith p 3 1 0 1

Loy dh 3 0 0 0 Wllmsn 2b 2 0 0 0

Ford ph 1 0 1 0 Preheim rf 3 0 0 0

Linebck cf 4 0 1 2 McCarthy c 2 0 0 0

Carter lf 3 0 0 0 Cantrell cf 2 0 0 0

Steavens p 3 1 1 0 Alston lf 3 0 1 0

Ray c 3 1 2 0

Totals 33 7 9 3 Totals 27 3 5 2

2B: Coulter. 3B: Hughes. SB: Benton, Steavens, Ray, Poynter, Smith, Williamson, Alston.

st. james ip h r er bb so

Steavens, W 7 5 3 0 3 6

houston ip h r er bb so

Smith, L 1-1 7 9 7 3 0 14

HBP: Williamson (by Steavens)

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