March 23, 2014
No. 21 HOUSTON
HOUSTON - Houston Baseball starter Jared West struck out a career-high 11 and the Cougars rallied late, which included a five-run eighth to complete the weekend sweep of College of Charleston with its 7-1 win on Sunday afternoon at Cougar Field.
The win propelled Houston's record to 19-4 on the year and improved its home record to an impressive 15-1 mark. With the win, the Cougars have now won eight of the last nine games.
The weekend sweep was the fourth of the year for Houston as the team opened with back-to-back sweeps of Nicholls State and Michigan and earned a series sweep over Towson last weekend. The Cougars are now 12-0 at home on the weekends.
Looking to bounce back as Houston's Sunday starter, sophomore Jared West (8.0,4,1,1,0,11) was more than impressive as the Frierson, La. native went a career-high 8.0 innings and struck out a career-best 11. The lefty allowed just one run on four hits and didn't issue a walk in his 109-pitch outing. With the win, West improved to 2-1 on the year.
The last time a Houston Cougar had at least 11 strikeouts came back on April 13, 2013 when RHP Austin Pruitt fanned 12 Seton Hall hitters at Cougar Field.
Houston's offense didn't come alive until the seventh, but the Cougars made the most of their at-bats late in the game, tallying seven runs in the final two innings.
It was a Josh Vidales two-out single up the middle in the seventh that put Houston ahead and from there, the Cougars continued to score as they added five runs on two hits in the eighth.
Houston once again worked the count and drew eight walks in the game, while forcing CofC's starer into 110 pitches in just 6.2 innings. All seven RBI in today's game came with two outs in the inning.
The Cougars tallied nine hits, led by Vidales' 1-for-4 effort with a walk, one run scored and three RBI. Senior Caleb Barker followed with a 2-for-5 day, plating two, while sophomore Justin Montemayor (2x4, 2 R) and junior Michael Pyeatt (2x3, 3B) each added two base hits.
Houston had its chances early as the Cougars stranded bases loaded in the first two innings. College of Charleston was held without a runner in scoring position until the fourth when it capitalized on three straight base knocks to go up 1-0.
It took seven innings for Houston to score, but it came in a big way when Vidales drove a two-out single up the middle, scoring Grayson and Montemayor - who reached on a walk and single, respectively.
Appling, Ratcliff and Grayson combined to see 19 pitches in their eighth inning at-bats, which led to another Houston run when Grayson connected on a two-out pitch through the left side, plating Appling who drew a one-out hit-by-pitch and moved over via a walk, fielder's choice.
Vidales and Fulmer each picked up an RBI after drawing bases loaded walks to extend Houston's lead to 7-1 in the eighth.
After a long wait, West was relieved by senior Aaron Stewart (0.1,0,0,0,1,1) struck out one and handed the ball over to junior Jared Robinson (0.2,0,0,0,0,0) got the final two outs of the game to close out the weekend sweep in relief.
College of Charleston fell to 16-7 on the year as starter Nathan Helvey (6.2,5,2,1,4,2) allowed one earned run on five hits and four walks in 6.2 innings for the loss - falling to 2-2 on the season.
Head Coach Todd Whitting
Thoughts on the weekend
"It was a great weekend for us, to be able to come out and sweep College of Charleston. I think that was the best team we've played all year. They're very offensive, and they are very physical. They pitch well throughout and their starting pitching is really good. We played well and we knew we had to play well coming into this series, to win it. To be able to sweep was big for us. Jared West today, was outstanding with 11 punch outs. He hadn't had great stuff the past couple of weeks, so it was encouraging to see him bounce back as we get ready for conference play."
On playing Rice Tuesday
"Well you know Rice is going to be a big game. Obviously it's an in-town rivalry, and it's going to be a packed house out here. I have a great feeling we're going to have a ton of fun out here. It's chance for us to get a win against a high RPI team. That could be a win that can really help us as we build our resume for the NCAA tournament."
Sophomore LHP Jared West
On his outing today
"I really didn't have my off-speed working today the way I would've liked. I ended up just pounding the fastball to get outs, and it worked. I knew my defense would do the rest of the work behind me. As far as the strikeouts, I felt good on the mound, and I was able to compete today."
Sophomore 2B Josh Vidales
On his day at the plate
"Their pitching coach did a good job of keeping me off balanced with off-speed stuff. There was a trend with that so I just stuck to my plan, and was able to let the ball travel, and with God's grace I was able to get a base hit to score two runs to give us the lead."
On the midweek game against Rice
"This midweek game is going to be fun for sure. We have a chance to take the Silver Glove Series, and we're playing good baseball right now. We need to start doing stuff earlier in the game, and not getting caught up in trying to do it all at the end. If we can get that done, and keep shutting people out we should be in good shape."
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Houston will welcome Rice to Cougar Field on Tuesday for the second game of the 2014 Silver Glove Series. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. The Cougars earned the series win back on Feb. 19 in a 3-0 victory at Reckling Park.
Houston vs. Rice is a Premium Game, which means ticket prices will begin as low as $7 for youth and $10 for adults in general admission seating (Level 200) and as low as $12 for youth and $15 for adults in reserved seating (Level 100).
By visiting UHCougars.com, clicking the Tickets link, and then Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page or by clicking here, fans can begin purchasing tickets for single games at Cougar Field this season.
COUGAR SPRING FLING vs. LOUISVILLE TICKETS
Tickets for the Cougar Spring Fling, good for general admission to both events, are just $5 prior to April 11 and $10 on April 11. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THE COUGAR SPRING FLING.
Tickets can be purchased in advance through UHCougars.com or by calling the Houston Athletics Ticket Office at 713-462-6647. Tickets on the day of the event can be purchased at the Houston Athletics Ticket Office, located in the Athletics/Alumni Center at 3100 Cullen Blvd., or at the event's entrances beginning at 5 p.m.
All Houston Baseball season ticket holders and single game reserved seat ticket holders ($12-15) will be admitted into Cougar Spring Fling with their previously purchased tickets. All seating at the Houston Football Spring Game will be general admission.
Cash parking for the Spring Fling will be available in the Houston Football Stadium parking garage and in lot 16C located across from Cougar Field on Cullen Blvd.
FAMILY PLAN TICKET PACKAGE
Families can purchase the Family Plan for just $399, which includes two adult and two youth General Admission tickets to each of the 33 home games.
General Admission seats include 33 "Anytime Tickets". You may use one ticket to each home game, 33 tickets to one game, or any combination in between.
General Admission season tickets start for as low as $150 (33 home games/$4.50 per ticket), while Reserved season tickets start at only $200 (33 home games/$6.00 per ticket).
To purchase, visit the Tickets tab, Purchase Tickets, while following the appropriate links to the Baseball page under Season Tickets or by clicking here.
For questions or concerns, call or visit the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275).
KIDS (8th grade & younger) with CAMP T-SHIRT GET IN FREE
Kids who show up to Cougar Field in a UH Baseball Camp T-Shirt and are in the eighth grade or younger will receive FREE ADMISSION to any Houston Baseball home game.