PREVIEW: Baseball Opens Conference Play at Home
March 26, 2014
HOUSTON – Set to open American Athletic Conference play this weekend and wrap up its 13-game homestand, No. 15 Houston Baseball will welcome Memphis to Cougar Field for a three-game set, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. The series will continue on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and conclude at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The Cougars, with a record of 20-4, will embark on its first weekend of conference play in the inaugural year of the American Athletic Conference. League play began last weekend, but Houston played out-of-conference during that first bye weekend.
LAST TIME OUT
QUICK HITS ON HOUSTON
Along with its 20-4 record, the Cougars are an impressive 16-1 at Cougar Field – marking the best home start since a 32-1 mark in 1989.
Houston’s pitching staff has been the backbone of this team, led by junior Aaron Garza, who has been the driving force behind the starting rotation. The Galveston, Texas native is 6-0 in six starts for an ERA of 1.17. He is the first Cougar to win his first six starts since Keith Whately notched that feat back in 2002.
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.
Out of the pen, Houston’s go-to guys have been senior Tyler Ford (0.78 ERA, 3-0, 23.0 IP, 10 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.
The staff holds the nation’s best ERA at 1.55 with a WHIP of 0.87 to sit atop the national rankings. The Cougars have fanned 168 hitters, while walking just 35 in 215.0 innings. They have also managed to hold their opponents to a .200 average.
Offensively, Houston is hitting .274 with 106 RBI and 46 extra-base hits. Junior Michael Pyeatt paces the team with a .333 average, while sophomore Kyle Survance follows with his team-best 31 hits. Five Cougars have multi-RBI to their names, led by senior Caleb Barker’s 16. Senior Frankie Ratcliff and sophomore Josh Vidales are first and second in runs scored with 19 and 18, respectively.
As a team, Houston has drawn 121 walks – averaging just over 5.00 a game, while swiping 30-of-40 bases.
QUICK HITS ON MEMPHIS
The Tigers are coming off a 10-7 midweek road loss to Arkansas State.
Memphis’ pitching staff owns a 3.52 ERA with 15 wins and 10 saves. In 225.0 innings, the Tigers have fanned 164, while walking 92 – holding opponents to a .244 average. The staff is led by Friday night starter LHP Caleb Wallingford with a 0.52 ERA, 3-1 record in five starts. In 34.0 innings, he has fanned 34, while walking nine.
Following Wallingford for Memphis in the rotation is LHP Colin Lee (4.45 ERA, 1-2) and RHP Jon Reed (4.58 ERA, 3-0).
Out of the pen, Memphis relies heavily on RHP Nolan Blackwood (2.62 ERA, 2-3, 3 SV) and RHP Bryce Beeler (1.29 ERA, 2-0, 5 SV).
Offensively, Memphis is hitting .266, led by Carter White and Ethan Gross with .300+ averages. Leading the squad with 28 hits is Jake Little and with Tucker Tubbs atop the team with 20 RBI.
The team has struck out 139 times and walked 98.
HOUSTON vs. MEMPHIS
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
Saturday, March 29
Sunday, March 30
Saturday, March 29 – BALLPARK BINGO
Sunday, March 30 - KIDS DAY
COUGAR SPRING FLING vs. LOUISVILLE TICKETS
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.
FAMILY PLAN TICKET PACKAGE
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