PREVIEW: No. 13 Baseball to Clash with No. 18 UCF
May 1, 2014
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.
QUICK HITS ON #13 HOUSTON
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.
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.
QUICK HITS ON #18 UCF
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 vs. UCF
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE STANDINGS
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
Saturday, May 3
Sunday, May 4
2014 SENIORS TO BE HONORED ON SUNDAY
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
Saturday, May 3 – BASEBALL BINGO
Sunday, May 4 – SENIOR DAY / FAN APPRECIATION DAY
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