Preview: Houston Hosts No. 5 Rice, Tuesday

    Austin Pruitt will get the start on Tuesday for UH
    Austin Pruitt will get the start on Tuesday for UH
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    Feb. 27, 2012

    HOUSTON COUGARS (4-3 • 0-0 C-USA)
    vs RICE (8-0 • 0-0 C-USA)

     Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 6:30 p.m.

     Location  Cougar Field (3,500) • Houston, Texas
     Radio  (Jeremy Branham & Pat Cauley) 
     Live Stats  GameTracker
     Series History  Rice leads all-time series, 94-69
     Last Meeting

     @ C-USA Championship in Pearl, Miss. 

     May 28, 2011 - Rice 4, Houston 3 (10 inn.)

     Game Notes  Houston Notes Get Acrobat Reader
     Conference USA Notebook Get Acrobat Reader
     Social Media   FacebookTwitter

    HOUSTON—The University of Houston baseball team will look to hand No. 5-ranked Rice its first loss of the 2012 season when it welcomes the Owls to Cougar Field on Tuesday for the first game of the Silver Glove Series at 6:30 p.m.

    Houston (4-3) is coming off a series fall to Texas State and a loss to Texas A&M-CC during the first midweek game of 2012. The Cougars were led by senior Jake Runte at the plate with a .412 average in a 7-for-17 effort that included one run scored and one RBI. Also hitting well over the last week was junior Jacob Lueneburg, notching six hits in 16 at-bats for a .375 clip.

    The first 200 fans into Cougar Field will receive an Official Houston Cougar Baseball t-shirt.

    Houston will start right-hander Austin Pruitt on Tuesday. The 5-foot-11 transfer made his Cougar debut in relief last week vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, where he tossed 4.1 innings, allowing just one hit, no runs, one walk with two strikeouts in a dominating performance. Tuesday will be his first career start at UH.

    Rice will throw right-hander Andrew Benak, who is 1-0 on the year. In 6.1 innings pitched, Benak has fanned 10 and allowed four hits and no runs.

    Houston continues it homestand and is 4-3 on the year. The Cougars are led at the plate by Lueneburg’s .393 average, while Runte follows with a  .367 clip. Both lead the team with 11 hits. Freshman Price Jacobs paces Houston with nine RBI.

    As a team, the Cougars are hitting .279 and have drawn 34 walks and 10 hit-by-pitches for a .391 on base percentage.

    Rice enters Tuesday’s midweek game with a perfect 8-0 record with series sweeps over Florida International, New Mexico State, and Dallas Baptist to date. The Owls will play their first game away from Reckling Park on Tuesday at Cougar Field.

    Rice is hitting .309 as a team, led by Michael Fuda’s .438 average. Jeremy Rathjen follows with a .417 average, while Shane Hoelsher paces the team with eight RBI.

    Houston and Rice will meet for the 164th time in the schools’ history on Tuesday. The Owls currently own the all-time series, 94-69. Rice has won the last 15 games against Houston, dating back to May 2, 2009.  The last win by the Cougars came in a 7-4 win at home on May 1, 2009.

    The last time these two teams met was on May 28, 2011 in the C-USA Championship game where Rice edged Houston, 4-3 in 10 innings in Pearl, Miss. In that game, Jared Ray tossed 8.0 complete innings, surrendering eight scattered hits, three runs (one earned), while fanning four for the no-decision. Senior John Cannon was 2-for-4, while junior Chase Jensen was 1-for-4 at the plate.

    Fans can also stay connected to action at or on Twitter @UHCougarBB.

    Houston’s eight-game home slate to open 2012 will end on Tuesday as the Cougars take their talents downtown to Minute Maid Park to compete in the Houston College Classic presented by Ticketmaster this weekend. Houston will open play on Friday against Tennessee at 3:30 p.m., followed by Arkansas on Saturday at Noon and Texas Tech on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

    For more information about the Houston College Classic, visit the information link HERE



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