April 1, 2013
IRVING, Texas — After tossing his first career complete game with eight strikeouts in a 3-1 win at Memphis, Houston Baseball junior Daniel Poncedeleon was named Conference USA Co-Pitcher of the Week, announced by the league office on Monday.
“Ponce is very deserving of this honor after his strong performance at Memphis on Friday night,” head coach Todd Whitting said. "That was as good as Ponce has been. He pitched really well last week against East Carolina, but even better this week. He showed great mound presence and the team is proud of his effort.”
The La Mirada, Calif., native, was remarkably impressive in his second C-USA start at Memphis. The win improved his season record to 4-2 and helped Houston to a series road win and to a 23-6 record and a 5-1 start in league play.
His nine-inning, complete game gem came with no walks, while tying his career-high in strikeouts with eight. His previous eight came in a win at home against East Carolina a week ago. He fanned every Tiger expect two in at least one at-bat.
He scattered just five hits, all singles, none for extra base hits, and didn’t allow an earned run for his fourth straight win for the Cougars.
After opening the year 0-2 as Houston’s Sunday starter, Poncedeleon moved up in the rotation as the Cougars’ Friday night guy and has yet to be beat – winning the last four decisions – two of which have come in C-USA play.
His complete game came on just 107 pitches as he retired 12 straight from the fifth through the eighth innings and 22 of 24.
Poncedeleon has now worked at least 6.0 innings in his last four starts and struck out 28 in those four contests. He roughly had around 65 pitches through 6.0 innings in the win at Memphis and didn’t reach the 100-pitch mark until two outs in the eighth inning.
Poncedeleon shared the honor this week with East Carolina’s Jeff Hoffman, who tossed a one-hit complete game shutout against North Carolina Central, striking out seven batters and walking three. Southern Miss’ Mason Robbins was named Hitter of the Week.
This is the fourth Conference USA Player of the Week honor for Houston Baseball this season. Poncedeleon joins senior pitcher Austin Pruitt and freshmen infielders Josh Vidales and Justin Montemayor receiving a weekly honor.
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Houston will host Sam Houston State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Cougar Field before hitting the road for the second straight weekend to play Marshall in a three-game C-USA series in Charleston, West Virginia. The three-game series begins on Friday at 1:05 p.m. CT, continues at 1:05 p.m. CT on Saturday and wraps up at 9:05 a.m. CT on Sunday.