PREVIEW: Cougars Welcome USF for Three-Game Set
April 16, 2014
HOUSTON GAME NOTES | AMERICAN NOTES
HOUSTON – No. 12 Houston Baseball returns to American Athletic Conference play by hosting USF in a three-game set at Cougar Field, beginning Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The series will continue on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and wrap up on Saturday at Noon.
QUICK HITS ON #12 HOUSTON
Houston began the week owning a nation’s-best ERA and now owns a 1.82 ERA following Tuesday’s contest – which should remain good enough for the nation’s lead. The staff has struck out 237 hitters and walked a conference-low 61, while holding opponents to a .212 average this season.
Weekend starters Jake Lemoine (1.34 ERA, 5-2), Aaron Garza (1.79 ERA, 6-3) and Jared West (2.66 ERA, 2-2) have combined for a 13-7 record and hold a combined ERA of 1.93 in 27 starts. That weekend rotation ERA is good enough for fifth-best in the nation entering this week’s contests.
Lemoine paces the staff with 51 strikeouts in 60.2 innings, while Garza holds the staff lead in innings pitched with 65.1 and wins with six.
Out of the Houston bullpen, Tyler Ford continues to be the go-to guy with a team-leading 16 appearances and a 4-0 record with two saves. The lefty owns a 0.76 ERA and has fanned 20 and walked just one in 35.1 innings.
Offensively, the Cougars are hitting .266 – led by three with an above .300 mark. Michael Pyeatt is hitting .321 to lead the way, while Kyle Survance leads the team in hits with 44 and is third-best with 20 runs scored, while hitting .312. Casey Grayson follows with a .302 average and a team-high 22 RBI – as he has reached base safely in now 10 consecutive games.
As a team, Houston has been issued 168 walks and has stolen 54-of-69 bases.
QUICK HITS ON USF
The Bulls opened conference play have won series over UConn, Cincinnati and Temple, while dropping a series to UCF.
On the year, UCF is hitting .270 – led by Kyle Teaf’s .344 average and team-leading 44 hits and 30 runs scored. Following is Luke Borders with a .307 average and Daniel Portales with a .306 clip.
As a team, the Bulls have been issued 153 walks to their 235 strikeouts, while swiping only 18-of-24 bases.
Pitching has been USF’s backbone with the staff owning a 2.96 ERA with 21 wins and seven saves in a total of 319.1 innings. The Bulls have fanned 215 and walked 128, while holding opponents to a .247 average.
USF is led in weekend pitching by RHP Jimmy Herget’s 1.03 ERA and 5-4 record. In 61.1 innings and nine starts, he has fanned 48, while walking 18 – holding opponents to a .221 average.
Following Herget is RHP Casey Mulholland with a 3.19 ERA and a 3-0 record in nine starts. Totaling 53.2 innings, Mulholland has fanned 38 and walked 19.
Houston will see RHP Tommy Peterson on Sunday, who in just two starts and 10 appearances, owns a 1.93 ERA and a 3-1 record.
Out of the pen, USF relies on several arms as RHP Jordan Strittmatter leads the staff with 19 appearances and three saves. Six Bulls have at least 10 appearances on the year.
HOUSTON vs. USF
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE STANDINGS
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
Friday, April 18
Saturday, April 19
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