Houston Baseball Year-by-Year Archive
Houston captured its first American Athletic Conference regular-season title, first league title since 2002 and eighth in program history after recording a 16-8 mark among the toughest conference in the nation. The Cougars, led by head coach Todd Whitting, who was named the ABCA South Central Regional Coach of the Year, notched its second straight 40-win season, finishing with a 43-20 record and ranked No. 18 in the nation. With its impressive regular-season play, Houston was awarded an NCAA Regional hosting bid and the No. 1 seed at Cougar Field - the first time hosting since 2000 and just the third time ever in program history. Houston finished the year with a 26-8 mark at home, tallying the most home wins ever, while earning five weekend sweeps and eight shutouts on the season - a number that ranks among the nation's Top 10. Houston went on to capture its second straight Silver Glove series - the first time since trophy was established in 1998. Cougar Field saw a program-record 1,832 fans on average in 2015. The Cougars were highlighted by sophomore Andrew Lantrip's Third Team All-America honor by Perfect Game and freshman Seth Romero, who led the league with a 1.94 ERA and was tabbed a Freshman All-American and the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year. Three Cougars were named to the All-Region Team (Survance, Lantrip, Iriart) and seven Cougars earned All-Conference honors with Kyle Survance leading the way as a First Team selection. Eight Cougars were selected in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft (Lemoine, Weigel, Survance, Iriart, Dowdy, Cobb, Fulmer, Rice) - the most since 11 in 2000. Houston Baseball, once again, excelled in the classroom - posting a program-record 3.09 cumulative GPA and the fourth-highest spring GPA at 2.97 as 24 student-athletes posted a 3.0 GPA or better.
Houston finished ranked No. 11 in the nation and notched one of the best seasons in program history, tying a program-record with 48 wins and earning its first trip to the NCAA postseason since 2008. The Cougars were ranked nationally for 13 straight weeks during the season, polling in as high as No. 5 in the nation during week 17. Houston captured the Baton Rouge Regional title with back-to-back wins over LSU to advance to the Austin Super Regional (vs. Texas) - a first since 2003. 2014 also saw Houston win the American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship tournament title with a win over Louisville. The Cougars posted the nation's No. 1 RPI in non-conference, regular-season play with an impressive 27-5 record. The 27 regular-season, non-conference wins was the most since 27 in 2002 for the program. Houston posted a home record of 25-8 for the most home wins since Cougar Field was redone in 1995. The Cougars opened 2014 with four straight home weekend sweeps, marking the first time in program history to accomplish that feat. Houston saw itself earn a season sweep of Rice - first since 1991 to reclaim the Silver Glove trophy, which has been with the Owls since 2000. The Cougars were led by one of the nation's top pitching staffs as senior relievers Chase Wellbrock (5-0, 12 SV) and Tyler Ford (9-0, 4 SV) combined for a 14-0 record and 16 saves. Freshman RHP Andrew Lantrip was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and the conference's Rookie of the Year, while eight other Cougars earned All-League honors. The postseason saw sophomores Josh Vidales and Kyle Survance earn American Baseball Championship and Baton Rouge Regional Most Outstanding Player honors, respectively. Three Cougars were tabbed All-Region led by seniors Casey Grayson and Chase Wellbrock on the First Team and senior Tyler Ford on the Second Team. Off the field, the Cougars continued to excel in the classroom, led by sophomore Justin Montemayor, who was tabbed a First Team CoSIDA Academic All-District award winner.
Houston proved it's on the rise as the Cougars notched its first 30+ win season since '08, finishing with a 36-22 record and tied Rice for the most non-conference wins at 22. The Cougars garnered C-USA Newcomer of the Year (Frankie Ratcliff) and Freshman of the Year (Justin Montemayor) honors, while having four named to C-USA Second Team (Montemayor, Ratcliff, Austin Pruitt, Kyle Survance) and four to the All-Freshman Team (Montemayor, Survance, Josh Vidales, Jake Lemoine). The team also notched a program-best 3.17 GPA in the fall, while 25 were named to C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll. Montemayor and Caleb Barker were tabbed as C-USA Academic Medals and Barker and Daniel Poncedeleon earned Academic All-League honors. Houston senior ace Austin Pruitt tallied 10 wins for the first time since Brad Lincoln had 12 in 2006, while junior reliever Chase Wellbrock racked up 11 saves for the first time since Donnie Joseph had 11 in 2009. The Cougars jumped into the Top 25 national rankings for five weeks midseason � for the first time since 2006 and produced its best 25-game start since 1989 at 21-4.
Houston saw Michael Pyeatt earn C-USA All-Freshman Team honors, while Landon Appling was named to the C-USA All-Tournament team for his second straight year. Academically, the Cougars posted a record team Spring GPA of 3.15 as senior Jared Ray was named to the C-USA All-Academic Team and Jonathan Davis was a Capital One Academic All-District First Team honoree. Cougar seniors Mo Wiley, John Cannon, and Jared Ray were all taken on the final day of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Head coach Todd Whitting returned to Houston for his first year as the leader of the program. The coached the Cougars to a spot in the Championship game of the C-USA Tournament and was one win away from advancing to the NCAA Tournament in his first season at the helm. He coached Caleb Ramsey to Second Team All-C-USA honors, Landon Appling to C-USA All-Freshman Team and Matt Creel to the C-USA All-Academic Team. Caleb Ramsey the only Cougar drafted in the MLB First Year Player Draft and went on the sign a professional contract.
In Rayner Noble's final year as head coach, the Cougars had six players drafted in the MLB First-Year Player Draft in June, led by Blake Kelso, a 10th Round selection. Also drafted were Michael Goodnight, Chris Wallace, Ty Stuckey, William Kankel and Jared Ray. Houston freshman M.P. Cokinos was a C-USA All-Freshman Team honoree.
Houston had three All-C-USA honorees, led by Donnie Joseph as a First Team selection, followed by Blake Kelso and Jared Ray as Second Team All-Conference honorees. Michael Goodnight was honored as a C-USA All-Freshman Team award winner.
Houston had a magical post season run, finishing ranked 30th in the nation in 2008 after capturing the C-USA Tournament title with five wins at the Championship. The Cougars went on to win three games at the College Station Regional, but would fall a win short to advance to a Super Regional. Bryan Pounds and Jake Stewart were First Team All-C-USA honorees, while Wes Musick was a Second Team selection. Chase Dempsay and Blake Kelso were honored as Freshman All-Americans by national publications and Bryan Pounds, Musick and Stewart were All-South Region honorees.
Despite missing the post-season, Houston saw Wes Musick named Freshman All-American and Josh Stirneman an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American honoree. Musick joined Jimmy Cesario as First Team All-C-USA award winners, while Luis Flores was a Second Team selection and Musick and Zak Presley were All-Freshman Team recipients. Aaron Brown was the Cougars' lone draftee, going in the Top 10 rounds of the MLB Draft.
2006 was highlighted by the magical year of Brad Lincoln. Lincoln was honored as the Dick Howser Trophy Winner as National Player of the Year. He was also honored by ABCA/Rawlings, Rivals.com and CSTV.com as National Player of the Year. Lincoln was named C-USA Pitcher of the Year and First Team All-C-USA, along with Isa Garcia and Matt Weston. Travis Cougot was named to the conference's All-Freshman team. Houston finished the year ranked No. 21 in the nation and Lincoln was the No. 4 overall draft pick in the 1st round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft. Also drafted were Weston, Brett Logan, Garcia, and Matt Farrington.
Houston's Justin Vaclavik was named All-South Region, while Travis Tully and Matt Farrington were First Team All-C-USA honorees. Joining them on the conference's list was Kevin Roberts, a Second Team selection. Taken in the MLB Draft were Roberts, Vaclavik, Tully and Gene Flores.
Houston posted a 19-11 mark in conference play, but missed the post season. Travis Tully was named Second Team All-C-USA, while Brad Lincoln garnered All-Freshman Team honoree nods. The Cougars saw eight players drafted, second-most in program history. Garrett Mock and Rob Johnson were taken in the third and fourth rounds, respectively, while Matt Varner, Rickey Putman, Patrick Breen, Brett Cooley, Cole Bruce, and Brandon Roznovsky were also drafted.
Houston had its second straight Super Regional appearance, winning the NCAA College Station Regional. The Cougars fell 1-2 in a three-game series at Reckling Park vs. Rice. Ryan Wagner earned six First Team All-American honors, while joining Brad Sullivan on the All-South Region Team. Hyung Cho and Sullivan were First Team All-C-USA honorees, while Wagner earned Second Team honors. Matt Farrington and Travis Tully were recognized on the All-Freshman Team. Cole Bruce was named College Station MVP. Houston finished the year ranked No. 16 and saw seven players drafted, highlighted by two First Round draft picks in Wagner and Sullivan. Also drafted were Michael Bourn, Danny Zell, Brian Henderson, Brett Cooley, and Cho.
Houston had one of its most recent prolific runs in the post season, finishing ranked No. 9 in the final rankings. After winning the Conference USA Regular Season and Mesa Regional with a perfect 3-0 record, the Cougars fell 1-2 to Texas in the Austin Super Regional, as Texas went on to win the College World Series that season. Brad Sullivan was named Conference Pitcher of the Year and Chris Synder was a Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year Finalist. Sullivan, Snyder and Jesse Crain were all First Team All-Americans, joined by Stuart Musslewhite as a Freshman All-American. Sullivan, Brett Cooley, Snyder and Crain were all First Team All-C-USA honorees, while Michael Bourn was a Second Team selection. Head Coach Rayner Noble was named South Central Region Coach of the Year and Keith Whatley was the Mesa Regional MVP. Wagner owned the NCAA single-season record with 16.8 strikeouts per nine innings. Crain and Snyder were Second Round selections in the draft, while Cooley, Whatley, and Nathan Mitchell were also drafted.
Houston produced an impressive 20-7 record in C-USA play. A very strong freshman class led the Cougars as five were named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team in Michael Bourn, Brad Sullivan, Hyung Cho, Austin Faught, and Gene Flores. The Cougars advanced to the post-season and met Baylor, and UT-Arlington in the Houston Regional at Reckling Park.