Houston Baseball Year-by-Year Archive
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.