Preview: Houston at No. 6 Rice this Weekend

Jacob Lueneburg is hitting .315 w/ a team-high 45 hits

May 3, 2012

HOUSTON COUGARS (15-26-1, 3-11-1)
at NO. 6 RICE OWLS (31-12, 11-4)

 May 4-6, 2012 - 6:30 p.m./1:30 p.m./1 p.m.

 Location  Houston, Texas - Reckling Park
 Radio  UHCougars.com  (Jeremy Branham & Pat Cauley) 
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Series History  Rice owns all-time series, 95-69
 Last Meeting

 at Cougar Field; February 28, 2012 - UH lost 4-1

 Game Notes  Houston Notes Get Acrobat Reader
 Conference USA Notebook Get Acrobat Reader
 Social Media   Facebook • Twitter

HOUSTON— The University of Houston baseball team will gear up and head across Hwy 288 in a C-USA weekend series against conference leader and No. 6 Rice, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. The series will continue on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and conclude on Sunday at 1 p.m. All three games are televised. 

The three-game weekend series will be televised on three networks.

Friday – 6:30 p.m. – Fox College Sports

Saturday – 1:30 p.m. – Fox Sports Network

Sunday – 1 p.m. – CSS

Houston is coming off an 8-3 win over UTSA in non-conference action on Tuesday. The Cougars tallied a season-high seven stolen bases in the victory and improved their overall record to 15-26-1. As a team, Houston is hitting .269, led by three starters with at least a .300 clip. Sophomore Jonathan Davis is hitting .337 to pace the Cougars, followed by junior Jacob Lueneburg’s .315 average, team-best 45 hits. Senior John Cannon is hitting .306, followed by sophomore Landon Appling and junior Chase Jensen with .290 and .281 clips, respectively. 

Friday: RHP Austin Pruitt (3.28 ERA, 2-3, 12 AP, 10 GS, 68.2 IP, 42 K)

Saturday: LHP Jordan Lewis (6.28 ERA, 3-6, 11 AP, 9 GS, 43.0 IP, 26 K)

Sunday: TBA

Houston’s pen has been solid of late, relying heavily on the arms of seniors Mo Wiley (4.22 ERA, 2-1, 4 SV), Codey Morehouse (2.45 ERA, 1-2, 1 SV) and sophomore Chase Wellbrock (3.62 ERA, 3-1, 12 AP).

Rice will look to hold its No. 1 seeding in C-USA and improve on its 31-12 overall record and 11-4 mark in conference play this weekend against the Cougars. The Owls are 18-6 at Reckling Park this year and are coming off a 6-5 extra-inning win over Texas Southern on Wednesday evening. Rice is hitting .280 as a team, but is led by a dominant pitching staff with a 2.84-combined ERA. At the plate, Christian Stringer leads the squad with a .355 average and 60 hits. Jeremy Rathjen and Michael Fuda each follow with a .342 and .313 average, respectively. The Owls have walked 194 times for a team on base percentage of .377.

Friday: RHP Matthew Reckling (1.44 ERA, 7-0, 11 GP, 10 GS, 2 CG, 68.2 IP, 80 K)

Saturday: RHP Austin Kubitza (3.65 ERA, 4-3, 11 GP, 10 GS, 49.1 IP, 38 K)

Sunday: RHP John Simms (2.72 ERA, 3-0, 21 AP, 0 GS, 39.2 IP, 41 K)

Out of the pen, Rice has relieved heavily on closer JT Chargois (2.28 ERA, 3-1, 20 AP, 8 SV), while Tyler Duffey (2.38 ERA, 1-1, 25 AP, 3 SV) has made a team-high 25 appearances this season.

Houston and Rice’s Silver Glove Series dates back to 1948 and the two teams will meet for the 165th time in school history on Friday. The Owls own the all-time series at 95-69 and have claimed victories in the last 16 meetings. Houston’s last win came back on May 1, 2009 in a 7-4 Cougar victory at Cougar Field. The two teams met once already this season back on February 28 in a non-conference contest where Rice edged Houston, 4-1 at Cougar Field. In that game, RHP Austin Pruitt tossed 6.0 innings with a career-high seven strikeouts, allowing just two earned runs. Junior Taylor White led the Cougars offensively with two hits. 

Following the weekend series, Houston will continue its stay in Houston when it hosts Tulane next weekend (May 11-13) at Cougar Field. 



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