PREVIEW: No. 13 Baseball to Clash with No. 18 UCF

May 1, 2014

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HOUSTON – Set to play its final home weekend series of the season, No. 13 Houston Baseball welcomes No. 18 and conference-leader UCF 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 on Sunday at 1 p.m. with Senior Day scheduled for Sunday’s pregame.  

Watch Live: All three games will be available via a live web stream on UHCougars.com ($).
Listen Live: All three games will be FREE to listen over UHCougars.com.
GameTracker: All three of games will be available on GameTracker.

No. 13 Houston Baseball returns home with an overall record of 33-12 and a 22-7 mark at Cougar Field. The Cougars currently sit in fourth place in The American Athletic Conference with a record of 8-7, but are coming off their eighth series win last weekend at Cincinnati and its fourth league series win of the season.

Houston and FIU are currently tied with the nation’s best ERA at 1.93 as all four starters this season have below a 3.00 ERA.

Junior Aaron Garza (6-3, 2.01 ERA) leads the team with six wins, while sophomore Jake Lemoine (5-4, 1.92 ERA) paces the team and ranks among the conference’s best with 66 strikeouts.

The duo is joined by both junior David Longville (1-0, 2.53 ERA) and sophomore Jared West (2-2, 2.76 ERA) – who have both made weekend starts this season in the Sunday role.

The sparkplug of this Cougar pitching staff has been the relief work by seniors Tyler Ford (5-0, 1.01 ERA, 2 SV) and Chase Wellbrock (3-0, 0.65 ERA, 9 SV). Ford, a lefty has been able to hold opponents to a .174 average and has fanned 26 and walked just two in 44.2 innings and a team-best 18 appearances all out of the pen.

Wellbrock has been equally impressive in the closer role in his final season as Houston’s all-time saves leader owns a 0.65 ERA and a 3-0 record with nine saves in just 16 appearances this season. Wellbrock has allowed just three walks and struck out 25 in his 27.2 innings in relief.

That 1-2 punch out of the pen has helped the Cougars to a nation-best 0.XX WHIP and 292 strikeouts to just 82 walks in 400.0 innings.

Offensively, the Cougars have upped their average over the last week and enter the weekend series with a .275 mark, led by four Cougars hitting above the .300.

Senior Casey Grayson leads the team in most offensive categories, including average (.329), hits (54), doubles (11), homeruns (4), RBI (31) and slugging percentage (.482).

Following Grayson in average is junior Michael Pyeatt, who has been a consistent .300 hitter – hitting .316 through the first 45 games this season. Sophomore Justin Montemayor is next with a .312 average and is tied with Grayson for the team lead with 11 doubles.

Continuing to produce another strong season is sophomore Kyle Survance, who is hitting .302 with a team-leading 30 runs scored and 24 stolen bases.

As a team, the Cougars have walked 210 times and stolen 63 bags and hold an on-base percentage of .375.

UCF ranks as high as No. 18 in the nation this week after sweeping Rutgers last weekend in American Athletic Conference play. The Knights sit atop of the conference standings with three weeks to play in regular season with a 15-3 league mark.

Overall, UCF holds a 28-16 record and has won eight of its last nine contests.

Offensively, UCF is hitting .272 as a team, led by four Knights with a .300 or better average. Dylan Moore paces the team with a .328 average, team-high 60 hits and 34 runs scored, while James Vasquez follows with a .327 average. Two players lead the team in RBI with 35 as Erik Barker has 17 extra-bases and Tommy Williams leads the conference with 10 homeruns.

As a team, UCF has walked 165 times to its 300 strikeouts, while stealing 53-of-77 bases and committing 55 errors defensively.

UCF pitching owns an ERA of 3.39 with 28 wins and 11 saves. In 406.0 innings, the Knights have fanned 298, while walking 179.

LHP Eric Skoglund paces the team in wins with seven and owns a 1.81 ERA and a 7-1 record in his 11 starts. In 84.2 innings, he leads the conference with 70 strikeouts. RHP Ryan Meyer will make the start on Saturday with a record of 3-1 and an ERA of 1.82 in 11 appearances and five starts.

Four Knights have made at least 20 appearances this season, led by 24 appearances by Trent Thompson, who is 1-4 with a 2.39 ERA and four saves.


  • Houston and USF have met 34 previous times, dating back to 1990.
  • The Cougars own the all-time series, 20-14, but UCF has won the last six meetings between the two programs – sweeping both the 2012 and 2013 season series.
  • The Cougars own a 13-6 edge over the Knights at Cougar Field.

American Athletic Conference standings show UCF atop the board with a 15-3 mark, followed by Louisville at 11-4, USF at 10-8 and Houston at 8-7.

Friday, May 2
Houston: RHP Aaron Garza (Jr., Galveston, Texas) – 2.01 ERA, 6-3, 76.0 IP, 6 BB, 43 K
UCF: LHP Eric Skoglund (Jr., Sarasota, Fla.) – 1.81 ERA, 7-1, 84.2 IP, 19 BB, 70 K

Saturday, May 3
Houston: RHP Jake Lemoine (So., Bridge City, Texas) – 1.92 ERA, 5-4, 75.0 IP, 20 BB, 60 K
UCF: RHP Ryan Meyer (So., Oviedo, Fla.) – 1.82 ERA, 3-1, 34.2 IP, 13 BB, 20 K

Sunday, May 4
Houston: TBA

Houston Baseball will honor its nine seniors on Sunday prior to the 1 p.m. start (12:40 pm).

Landon Appling – OF – El Campo, Texas  |  Caleb Barker – C – Keller, Texas  |  Tyler Ford – LHP – Richmond, Texas  |  Casey Grayson – 1B – Cypress, Texas  |  Jacob Lueneburg – UTL – Caledonia, Wisc.  |  Frankie Ratcliff – SS – Key West, Fla.  |  Daniel Smith – C – Cypress, Texas  |  Aaron Stewart – LHP – Alvin, Texas  |  Chase Wellbrock – RHP – Brenham, Texas

Friday, May 2 - FRIDAY FRENZY

  • $1 hot dogs, $2 soda, $3 beer* (21 years or older) EVERY Friday night at Cougar Field
  • Inflatable games for kids

Saturday, May 3 – BASEBALL BINGO

  • Baseball Bingo
  • Inflatable games for kids


  • Senior Day – recognition to begin at roughly 12:40 p.m. (prior) to the 1 p.m. start
  • Fan Appreciation Day – all general admission & reserved seating is half-off
  • Season Ticket holders will receive two extra tickets for guests (redeem at the gate)
  • Kidzone & Inflatable games for kids

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 purchase tickets single-game tickets for the final home weekend series of the season.

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.

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.

Following the three-game series with UCF, Houston will play one final home game when it welcomes Prairie View A&M to Cougar Field on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.



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