PREVIEW: Cougars Welcome Michigan this Weekend

Feb. 20, 2014

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HOUSTON - Coming off a shutout win at No. 11 Rice on Wednesday, Houston Baseball returns home to host Michigan in a three-game set at Cougar Field, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. The series will continue on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and conclude on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.


Houston's pitching staff has had three shutouts in the Cougars' first four games this season for a staff ERA of 0.50.

Houston will face five first-time opponents: Towson, College of Charleston, Rutgers, Temple, UConn.

After the weekend sweep of Nicholls State on Opening Weekend, Houston is now 11-1 during the first weekend of the season under head coach Todd Whitting.

The Cougars will make their 14th straight appearance in the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park on Feb. 28-March 1.

2014 marks the 20th season played at Cougar Field. The 1995 team was the first to play at the constructed stadium.

Houston starting pitching (Aaron Garza, Jake Lemoine, Jared West, Matt Locus) combined to throw 24.2 shutout innings during the Cougars' 4-0 start this season.

The Cougars will play 25 of their first 28 games in the city of Houston, which includes a stretch of 12 to open the season and a stretch of 13 in March.

29 Houston Baseball student-athletes reside from the state of Texas.

Houston has combined for 32 runs in the last three meetings against Michigan ... (10-5, 10-9, 12-10), which came in a three-game sweep on March 5-8, 1998.

Houston enters the second weekend of the season with a 0.50 staff ERA to sit atop the American Athletic Conference.

Senior Casey Grayson has notched a hit in all four games and holds a .500 average with six hits in 12 at-bats. Of the six hits, three have come for extra bases with two doubles and a home run.

Junior Matt Locus and senior Tyler Ford combined to throw Houston's third shutout this season as the duo held Rice to just four hits to earn a 3-0 win. The Cougars received two, two-out doubles by seniors Casey Grayson and Caleb Barker, which provided Houston all the offense they needed behind Locus and Ford's arms.

Houston has relied heavily on the arms of its pitching staff as the Cougars combine for three shutouts over the first four games, which has led to a 0.50 ERA and 35.0 of 36.0 shutout innings. Holding a victory in the win column thus far is junior Aaron Garza, sophomores Jake Lemoine and Jared West and senior Ford.

Offensively, the Cougars are hitting .271 through three games, led by a .500 clip by Grayson, who is 6-for-12 with two doubles, a homerun, four RBI and three walks. Senior Frankie Ratcliff is just shy with a .429 average and a team-high four runs scored.

Michigan will enter the weekend series with a 1-2-1 record with a win vs. Air Force, a loss to Washington and Texas State and a tie against Washington last weekend in San Marcos, Texas.

The Wolverines are hitting .297 through four games, led by Kyle Jusick's .500 clip and Jackson Glines' .400 average and team-leading eight hits. Jackson Lamb paces the team with a team-best six RBI in just two starts to hold a 1.222 slugging percentage.

Michigan's pitching staff holds a 5.55 ERA with no saves. Through 35.2 innings, the Wolverines have fanned 26 and walked 20, while allowing their opponents to hit .278.


  • Two teams will meet for the ninth time in program history.
  • The Cougars own an 8-1 all-time series lead with the series dating back to 1982.
  • Houston has won seven straight vs. Michigan.
  • Last Meeting: Houston 12, Michigan 10 (March 8, 1998).

Friday, February 21
Houston: RHP Aaron Garza (Jr., Galveston, Texas) - 0.00 ERA, 1-0, 7.0 IP, 1 BB, 6 K
Michigan: LHP Trent Szkutnik (Jr., Temperance, Mich.) - 1.93 ERA, 0-0, 4.2 IP, 3 BB, 3 K

Saturday, February 22
Houston: RHP Jake Lemoine (So., Bridge City, Texas) - 0.00 ERA, 1-0, 7.0 IP, 1 BB, 4 K
Michigan: LHP Evan Hill (So., Mt. Pleasant, Mich.)  - 12.46 ERA, 0-0, 4.1 IP, 4 BB, 2

Sunday, February 23
Houston: LHP Jared West (So., Frierson, La.) - 0.00 ERA, 1-0, 7.0 IP, 0 BB, 4 K
Michigan: RHP Ben Ballentine  (Rs-Sr., Napa, Calif.) - 0.00 ERA, 1-0, 7.0 IP, 3 BB, 5 K

Friday, February 14 - FRIDAY FRENZY

  • $1 hot dogs, $2 soda, $3 beer* (21 years or older) EVERY Friday night at Cougar Field
  • Inflatable games for kids

Saturday, February 15 - HOOPS & HARDBALL & BALLPARK BINGO

  • FREE ADMISSION with the purchase/showing of a MBB vs. UCF game ticket or WBB vs. UConn ticket
  • Win great prizes by playing Ballpark Bingo!
  • Inflatable games for Kids

Sunday, February 16 - KIDS DAY

  • KidZone & Inflatable Games for Kids
  • Kids Run the Bases post-game
  • Post-Game autographs

Houston Baseball will once again take advantage of its home crowd by playing 33 home games at Cougar Field, including seven of the first eight games. Following a trip to California, the Cougars will return home to host the next 13 games during the month of March, which includes Baylor, Rice and the opening of conference play with Memphis.

Houston is also set to host non-conference opponents Michigan (Feb. 21-23) - for the first time since 1998, McNeese State (Feb. 25), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (March 4), Baylor (March 11), Towson (March 14-16), College of Charleston (March 21-23), Texas State (April 8), Sam Houston State (April 22) and Prairie View A&M (May 6).

The Cougars will compete for the first time in the inaugural American Athletic Conference and will welcome Memphis (March 28-30), Louisville (April 11-13), USF (April 17-19), and UCF (May 2-4) to Cougar Field as part of league play.

Single-game tickets begin as low as $6 for youth and $8 for adults in general admission seating (Level 200) and as low as $8 for youth and $10 for adults in reserved seating (Level 100).

Premium games for the Cougars will include the Baylor midweek game (Tues., March 11), the Rice midweek game (Tues., March 25) and the Louisville weekend series (April 11-13). Premium games 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.

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.

Stay up to date with all Houston Baseball news and highlights by following us on Twitter @UHCougarBB or on Facebook at /HoustonCougarBaseball. Fans can also follow head coach Todd Whitting @toddwhitting on Twitter.

Following the weekend series vs. Michigan, Houston Baseball will host McNeese State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 25 at Cougar Field. The Cougars will then compete for the 14th consecutive season in the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park. Games are set for 12:05 p.m. (Friday vs. Texas Tech), 3:35 p.m. (Saturday vs. Texas), 5:05 p.m. (Sunday vs. TCU).



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