PREVIEW: Baseball Set for Towson Series this Weekend

March 12, 2014

Listen Live | Live Video | GameTracker | Game Notes


HOUSTON - Set to meet for the first time in program history, No. 30 Houston Baseball will welcome Towson to Cougar Field for a three-game set this weekend, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. The series will continue at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and conclude at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The Cougars are currently 12-3 on the year with a perfect 8-0 record on its new FieldTurf. The 8-0 start at home is the best home start since an 11-0 start back in 1993. This home weekend series will continue as part of a 13-game homestand for the Cougars, which began on Tuesday and will conclude on March 30.

Watch Live: All three games will be available via a live web stream on UHCougars.com for a small fee.
Listen Live: All three games will be FREE to listen over UHCougars.com. | Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. will be broadcasted over SportsTalk 790 AM as well.
GameTracker: All three of games will be available on GameTracker.

Houston is coming off a 7-2 win over Baylor on Tuesday that saw the Cougars pound out 12 hits, record nine walks and take advantage of several strong relief appearances, notably by freshman right-hander Andrew Lantrip, who earned his first collegiate win, tossing 3.0-hitless innings.

The Cougars are 12-3 and have won four of their last five games, including their third straight midweek win and road wins over USC and No. 9 UCLA. Houston has continued to rely heavily on its strong pitching staff that leads the nation in ERA (1.02) and is second-best in shutouts with six.

The Cougars' staff is paced by an impressive weekend rotation, led by junior Aaron Garza's 4-0 start and miniscule 0.30 ERA through 30.0 innings. He has allowed just one earned run and two walks, while fanning 20 - holding opponents to a .171 batting average.

Following him is sophomore Jake Lemoine, who owns a 1.26 ERA and a 2-1 record with his most recent win over No. 9 UCLA on the road. Lemoine leads the team in strikeouts with 22 in 28.2 innings, while walking just four and allowing four total earned runs.

Sunday starter sophomore Jared West is 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA in four starts and 19.1 innings. The lefty has fanned 15 and is holding opponents to a .211 average.

Out of the pen, senior Chase Wellbrock has been phenomenal, tallying 12 strikeouts in 10.1 innings without allowing a run for an ERA of 0.00. He holds the team lead with four saves. His last save at No. 9 UCLA tied the Houston all-time saves record at 16, which was set by Ryan Wagner back in 2002-03.

Joining Wellbrock out of the pen has been senior Tyler Ford, who holds a 0.73 ERA and a 1-0 record through 12.1 innings. He has yet to walk a hitter, while junior Jared Robinson is 1-1 with a 1.12 ERA in five appearances.

The staff has fanned 104 hitters and walked just 19 through 133.0 total innings pitched thus far.

Offensively, Houston is hitting .269 with 53 RBI and 25 extra base hits. Senior Frankie Ratcliff leads the team with a .344 average and a team-best 21 hits and seven stolen bases. Sophomore Kyle Survance is currently riding a nine-game hit streak and has upped his season average to .311, while leading the team with two triples. Senior Casey Grayson and sophomore Josh Vidales have combined for 23 walks and 17 runs scored, while sophomore Ashford Fulmer paces the team with nine RBI.

Towson, a member of the Colonel Athletic Conference out of Baltimore, Md., travels down to Houston for the first time in program history with its 9-3 record. The Tigers have won six of the last seven, including three straight heading into the weekend series.

Of the 12 games played, Towson has yet to play a game at home, holding a 3-3 record on the road and a 6-0 mark at a neutral site.

Towson is hitting .255 with 50 RBI and 18 extra bases, led by Peter Bowles' .326 clip, 15 hits and eight RBI. Dominic Fratantuono follows with a .316 average and 10 runs scored.

As an offensive unit, Towson has walked 53 times, but struck out 74 times, while stealing 11-of-16 bases.

The pitching staff has been solid, owning a 2.05 ERA and seven saves through 105.1 innings. The Tigers are led by right-hander Chris Acker, who is 2-0 with a 0.84 ERA. In 21.1 innings, he has walked 10 and fanned nine. Left-hander Bruce Zimmerman is 3-0 with a 1.21 ERA, while having fanned 18 in 22.1 innings.

Right-hander Brandon Gonnella leads the team with four saves and is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA through 9.2 innings with 11 strikeouts.


  • Houston and Towson will meet for the first time in program history this weekend.
  • The Cougars will play five first-time opponents this season, beginning with Towson.

Friday, March 14
Houston: RHP Aaron Garza (Jr., Galveston, Texas) - 0.30 ERA, 4-0, 30.0 IP, 2 BB, 20 K
Towson: RHP Chris Acker (Jr., Columbia, Md.) - 0.84 ERA, 2-0, 21.1 IP, 10 BB, 9 K

Saturday, March 15
Houston: RHP Jake Lemoine (So., Bridge City, Texas) - 1.26 ERA, 2-1, 28.2 IP, 4 BB, 22 K
Towson: LHP Bruce Zimmerman (Fr., Woodstock, Md.) - 1.21 ERA, 3-0, 22.1 IP, 7 BB, 18 K

Sunday, March 16
Houston: LHP Jared West (So., Frierson, La.) - 2.33 ERA, 1-1, 19.1 IP, 3 BB, 15 K
Towson: TBA

Friday, March 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, March 15 - BALLPARK BINGO

  • Win great prizes by playing Ballpark Bingo!
  • Inflatable games for Kids

Sunday, March 16 - KIDS DAY

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

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 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, Houston will remain at home to host Lamar on Tuesday, March 18 at 6:30 p.m. followed by Texas Southern, Wednesday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m.  



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