Baseball Opens Conference USA Play at UCF this Weekend
March 22, 2007
ORLANDO, Fla. - The University of Houston baseball team looks to return to its winning ways when they open Conference USA play at UCF this weekend in a three-game series at Jay Bergman Field in Orlando, Fla.
The series begins with 5:30 p.m. (CDT) games on both Friday and Saturday before wrapping up at noon (CDT), Sunday.
The Cougars should be well-rested entering this weekend series after not playing a midweek game for the second straight week. The Cougars come into the series after being swept at No. 22 San Diego during the program's annual trip to the West Coast.
This marks the second straight season that the Cougars will meet UCF on the baseball diamond. However, it is the first time in school history that the Cougars will square off against the Golden Knights in Orlando, Fla.
Friday's game will be available on Gametracker only with no Internet broadcast available. However, regular color analyst Pat Cauley will call the play-by-play action of the Saturday and Sunday games. Fans always can follow live stats by clicking on the "Gametracker" link on the front page of UHCougars.com or on the "Schedule and Results" page off the Baseball main page.
The Cougars will be competing in their 44th conference-opening series when they face UCF in Orlando, Fla., this weekend. UH has posted an all-time record of 26-17 (.605) during its first conference game of the season.
In addition, the Cougars are 7-3 (.700) all-time in C-USA openers after enjoying a 7-0 win over Marshall on March 24, 2006. It was the team's second straight win in conference openers.
Junior righthander Aaron Brown makes his seventh start of the season against UCF this weekend during the series opener. This season, the League City native has assembled a 2-1 record with 28 strikeouts and a 4.91 ERA in 36.2 innings pitched.
His ERA, wins, strikeouts and innings pitched totals are the second best by any UH hurler this season. Brown also ranks among the C-USA Top 10 individual leaders in strikeouts and innings pitched.
In his last start, Brown collected the loss in the series opener at No. 22 San Diego after allowing seven runs (six earned) off six hits with two strikeouts and six walks in 6.2 innings.
Friday's series opener will be Brown's third career appearance but first start against UCF. In 2006, Brown made two relief appearances in which he threw four strikeouts with a 3.86 ERA in 2.1 innings. He competed in the first and last games of the 2006 series at Cougar Field, tossing 1.0 and 1.1 innings, respectively
Sophomore DH Jimmy Cesario continues to lead the Cougars with a .352 batting average, while senior infielder Dustin Kingsbury, who was started each of the last 143 games, is tops with 23 RBIs, one of nine Cougar hitters with double-digit RBIs. Sophomore catcher Luis continues to lead the team and rank among the C-USA individual leaders with five RBIs.
Junior outfielder Bryan Tully is one of only eight players in C-USA to rank among the C-USA Top 10 individual leaders in at least two Triple Crown categories with four home runs and 18 RBIs.
For the second straight season, the Cougars will face UCF on the baseball diamond. UH owns a 9-3 (.750) record in the all-time series, which began in 1990 at the Olive Garden Classic in Kissimmee, Fla.
The Cougars enter this weekend's series on a three-game winning streak against UCF after sweeping the 2006 regular-season series at Cougar Field and have won six of their last seven games.
Only a 4-3 setback to the Golden Knights on Feb. 24, 1998, in Houston prevents a longer streak.
This weekend's series will be the first time that these two teams have met on the Golden Knights' home field.
Junior righthander Brett Bordwine is slated to start for the Golden Knights on Friday. This season, he has posted a 2-0 record with 21 strikeouts and a 3.07 ERA in 14.2 innings.
Outfielder Tyson Auer leads UCF with a .369 batting average, while infielder Kiko Vazquez paces the team with four home runs and 25 RBIs.