PREVIEW: No. 7 Cougars to Host Texas State Tuesday
April 7, 2014
HOUSTON – No. 7 Houston Baseball gears up to play the next eight of nine games at Cougar Field, as the Cougars open this homestand by welcoming Texas State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in non-conference action.
QUICK HITS ON HOUSTON
The Cougars are 18-2 at Cougar Field this season and are 6-1 in midweek games – including wins over Top 10 Rice twice, Baylor and on the road at Texas A&M.
Houston polled in at No. 7 this week in the nation’s Top 25 Perfect Game poll – the highest ranking by any poll since the start of the 2003 season when the Cougars opened at No. 6.
Houston continues to ride the arms of its pitching staff as that group owns a 1.79 ERA with 25 wins and eight saves. In 277.0 innings, the pitching staff – under Frank Anderson – has walked a conference-low 48 hitters and struck out 203. Opponents are hitting just .210 against the staff that has only surrendered a conference-low 55 earned runs.
Weekend starters Aaron Garza (6-2, 1.83 ERA), Jake Lemoine (5-1, 1.18 ERA) and Jared West (2-1, 2.72 ERA) have combined for 13 wins and all sit below the 3.00 ERA mark through their eight starts this season.
Lemoine paces the team in strikeouts with 45 and is coming off his first career complete game that was highlighted by a career-best nine strikeout effort for his fifth win of the year at Rutgers.
Garza has tossed a team-high 59.0 innings, walking just two in the effort for the staff’s most wins at six.
Midweek starters have shown well with David Longville (0-0, 3.54 ERA) leading the way with five midweek starts. He has fanned 17 in 20.1 innings, while walking just one. Also seeing action as a starter this season has been Matt Locus (1-0, 0.00 ERA) and Kirby Peek (0-0, 3.00 ERA).
The bullpen has been spectacutlar over the last few weeks as Chase Wellbrock (2-0, 0.00 ERA) and Tyler Ford (4-0, 0.85 ERA) have combined for six wins and eight saves – totaling 52.0 innings with 39 strikeouts. Wellbrock paces the league with a 0.00 ERA and has 23 strikeouts in just 20.1 innings with seven saves.
Ford leads the team in appearances with 14, followed by Jared Robinson (2-1, 2.61 ERA) with 12.
Offensively, Houston is hitting .273 with 44 doubles, six triples and eight homeruns to accompany its 137 RBI.
Leading the charge in average is Michael Pyeatt with a .318 average, followed by Kyle Survance’s .317 and team-leading 39 hits and 17 stolen bases. Frankie Ratcliff is hitting .305 with a team-high 26 runs scored, while Casey Grayson has driven in a team-best 21 RBI and walked 24 times.
Houston is 48-of-59 in the stolen base category – with Survance leading the way with 17 and Ratcliff right behind with 14.
QUICK HITS ON TEXAS STATE
The Bobcats are coming off a conference series loss to South Alabama, but prior to that had beaten UTSA at home, 7-6 during midweek action.
Texas State is hitting .246 as a team, led by Matt Smith’s .296 average. He is followed by Garrett Mattlage’s .288 clip and team-leading 34 hits, 19 runs scored and 26 RBI.
The pitching staff owns a 3.55 ERA with 18 wins and seven saves. In 286.2 total innings, the Bobcats have walked 93 and struck out 249.
Austen Williams is 4-1 with a 2.75 ERA in eight starts, while Hunter Lemke is 5-2 with six saves and a 3.41 ERA in 17 appearances out of the bullpen.
Houston will likely see RHP Dylan Bein, who is 0-2 with a 2.81 ERA. In 25.2 innings and four starts, Bein has fanned 26 and walked 10.
HOUSTON vs. TEXAS STATE
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.
KIDS (8th grade & younger) with CAMP T-SHIRT GET IN FREE