PREVIEW: Houston Baseball Welcomes Rice on Tuesday

March 24, 2014

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Game Notes

HOUSTON – Expected to be a showdown of two Top 15-nationally ranked programs in Houston Baseball and Rice, the program’s historic rivalry will continue as the two clash at Cougar Field Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. for the second game of the 2014 Silver Glove Series.

This meeting will be a clash of the nation’s Top 25 – as both teams enter the week among the nation’s best. Official national rankings will be announced by Monday afternoon.

Houston Baseball has won eight of its last nine games, including its fourth weekend sweep of the season – taking down College of Charleston in a three-game set. The Cougars enter the midweek game with Rice with a 19-4 overall record and the nation’s second-best RPI behind Florida State.

Houston is hitting .277, led by four over the .300 clip. Junior Michael Pyeatt upped his average after a solid week as he now paces the team with a .340 average. Sophomore Kyle Survance is second-best with a .319 average and a team-best 29 hits – tied with senior Frankie Ratcliff, who follows with a .315 average, while also leading the team with 18 runs scored.

Senior Casey Grayson is hitting .308 with 13 RBI and a team-best eight doubles, one triple and two homeruns for a slugging percentage of .513. Senior Caleb Barker leads the team with 16 RBI.

As a team, Houston has been issued 115 walks and is 27-of-37 in stolen bases.

Through 23 games, Houston’s pitching staff continues to shine – holding one of the nation’s best ERAs at 1.53. The Cougars have allowed jut 35 walks to its 162 strikeouts and have held opponents to a mere .198 average.

Junior Aaron Garza has been the driving force behind the starting rotation and is now 6-0 in six starts for an ERA of 1.17. Sophomore Jake Lemoine is 4-1 with a 0.93 ERA and leads the staff with 32 punchouts in 38.2 innings. Sophomore Jared West picked up his second win of the year on Sunday, striking out a career-high 11 in a career-long 8.0 innings to be named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll.

Midweek starters have consisted of juniors David Longville (1.32 ERA, 0-0, 13.2 IP, 11 K), Matt Locus (0.00 ERA, 1-0, 5.2 IP, 3 K), and freshmen Andrew Lantrip (2.08 ERA, 1-0, 4.1 IP, 3 K) and Kirby Peek (3.00 ERA, 0-0, 9.0 IP, 6 K).

Out of the pen, Houston’s go-to guys have been senior Tyler Ford (0.98 ERA, 2-0, 18.1 IP, 8 K), junior Jared Robinson (2.08 ERA, 2-1, 17.1 IP, 17 K) and senior Chase Wellbrock (0.00 ERA, 0-0, 14.1 IP, 17 K), who became Houston’s all-time saves leader earlier this year – and now has six in his eight appearances this season.

Rice heads to Cougar Field with a nine-game winning streak and a record of 19-6. The Owls are coming off a weekend sweep of C-USA foe, Florida Atlantic.

As a team, Rice is hitting .287 with six homeruns and 48 doubles. The Owls are led by John Clay Reeves’ .426 average and team-best 40 hits. Skyler Ewing follows with a .317 clip and a team-high 23 runs scored and 30 RBI.

Offensively, the Owls have been issued 102 walks to their 125 strikeouts, while swiping 18-of-28 stolen bases.

Similar to that of Houston, Rice relies heavily on its pitching staff as the Owls hold a team ERA of 2.29 with nine saves and three shutouts. Starter Blake Fox is 5-0 with a 1.37 ERA in 39.1 IP, while Zech Lemond is 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA and a team-high 39 strikeouts.

Likely to see action as the starter on Tuesday will be either Caleb Smith (4.09 ERA, 1-0, 11.0 IP, 14 K) or Kevin McCanna (4.97 ERA, 1-2, 29.0 IP, 16 K).

Out of the pen this season, Rice has used Matt Ditman (0.85 ERA, 2-2, 4 SV) and Lemond (3 SV).

Houston and Rice last met back on Feb. 19 at Reckling Park. The Cougars handed then the No. 11 Owls a 3-0 shutout loss. In the win for Houston, Ford earned the win in relief after Locus made the start and left with the no decision. Barker drove in two runs on a double, while Grayson doubled to plate the game’s first run. Ditman suffered the loss for the Owls, allowing one run in 7.1 innings.


  • Houston and Rice will meet for the 173rd all-time meeting – the most in program history.
  • The Owls lead the all-time series, 100-72.
  • Houston won the most recent contest, 3-0, on Feb. 19 at Reckling Park.
  • The 3-0 shutout was the first shutout for Houston since a 3-0 win back on May 12, 2006.

Starting pitching has not been officially announced.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Following the Tuesday contest vs. Rice, Houston Baseball will embark on its first American Athletic Conference weekend when it welcomes Memphis to Cougar Field for a three-game set, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. The series will continue at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and wrap up at 1 p.m. Sunday.



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