PREVIEW: Baseball to Play Final Weekend Series

    May 14, 2014

    Listen Live | GameTracker | GAMEDAY CENTRAL

    HOUSTON – Set to embark on its final regular season weekend series, No. 12 Houston Baseball will travel to face Temple in a three-game American Athletic Conference weekend set in Camden, N.J. at Campbell’s Field, beginning Thursday at 2 p.m. CT.

    The weekend series will continue on Friday at 2 p.m. CT and wrap up on Saturday at 10 a.m. CT.


    BROADCAST INFO
    Listen Live: All three games will be FREE to listen over UHCougars.com.
    GameTracker: All three of games will be available on GameTracker.


    QUICK HITS ON #12 HOUSTON
    Winners of its last seven games, No. 12 Houston Baseball enters the final weekend of regular season play with an overall record of 40-13 and a 13-8 mark in American Athletic Conference play.

    The Cougars are coming off a 7-3 win over No. 14 Rice at Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas that concluded a three-game Silver Glove season series sweep of the Owls. The sweep was the first sweep over Rice since 1991.

    The 40-win total for the Cougars is the highest and first season since 2008 that Houston Baseball has recorded a 40-win season and first under head coach Todd Whitting.

    The Cougars enter the weekend ranked first in the nation with a 1.98 ERA and have three pitchers with at least six wins this season.

    The weekend duo of junior Aaron Garza (2.16 ERA, 7-4) and sophomore Jake Lemoine (2.07 ERA, 6-4) have combined for 13 wins and a total of 178.2 innings and 130 strikeouts to just 28 walks.

    The bullpen continues to step up for the Cougars of late as seniors Chase Wellbrock and Tyler Ford leading the charge. Wellbrock is 4-0 with 10 saves and a 0.53 ERA – among the best in the league. Ford has impressive numbers as well with a 6-0 record and three saves in a team-high 21 appearances and 51.1 innings out of the pen. This duo has walked just eight and struck out 62.

    As a staff, Houston has thrown 472.0 innings, striking out 352 and walking just 92 to hold opponents to a mere .218 average.

    Offensively, senior Casey Grayson paces the Cougars with a .335 average, 65 hits, 14 doubles, six homeruns and 40 RBI to accompany his 41 walks. Grayson enters Thursday’s contest having reached base safely in 26 consecutive games.

    Following him in average is junior Michael Pyeatt at a consistent .307, while sophomore Justin Montemayor is hitting .299 with 60 hits and 13 doubles and sophomore Kyle Survance owns a .298 average and is second-best in the league with 27 stolen bases.


    QUICK HITS ON TEMPLE
    Temple enters its final weekend of regular season play with an overall record of 13-29 and an 8-13 mark in league play. The Owls are coming off a series loss to Louisville, but managed to take one from the Cardinals at home last weekend.

    Temple is hitting just .247 on the season, led by Robert Amaro’s .333 average and team-leading 53 hits and 37 RBI. He is followed by Jimmy Kerrigan’s .286 clip and Derek Peterson’s team-best 28 runs scored.

    As a team, the Owls have drawn 135 walks to their 321 strikeouts and have stolen 49 bases.

    The Temple pitching staff owns a 5.10 ERA, 13 wins and six saves in 370.1 innings. The Owls have walked 150 hitters to their 224 strikeouts, while holding opponents to a .288 average.

    Houston will see starters RHP Matt Hockenberry, who is 4-5 with a 3.74 ERA in 79.1 innings pitched, striking out a team-best 61. In Game 2, the Cougars will face RHP Patrick Vanderslice, who is 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA in 15 appearances and six starts, with RHP Ryan Kuehn on Saturday with a 3-2 record and a 3.80 ERA in 13 appearances and eight starts.

    Out of the pen RHP Zach Batchelor has five saves and a 1-0 record in 17 appearances.


    HOUSTON vs. TEMPLE

    • Houston and Temple will meet for the first time in program history.
    • This will mark the playing of the fifth and final series vs. a ‘first-time opponent’ this season.

    PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
    Thursday, May 15
    Houston: RHP Aaron Garza (Jr., Galveston, Texas) – 2.16 ERA, 7-4, 91.2 IP, 7 BB, 51 K
    Temple: RHP Matt Hockenberry (Sr., Hanover, Pa.) – 3.74 ERA, 4-5, 791. IP, 20 BB, 61 K

    Friday, May 16
    Houston: RHP Jake Lemoine (So., Bridge City, Texas) – 2.07 ERA, 6-4, 87.0 IP, 22 BB, 79 K
    Temple: RHP Patrick Vanderslice (Fr., Lansdowne, Pa.) – 6.00 ERA, 1-3, 42.0 IP, 15 BB, 22 K

    Saturday, May 17
    Houston: TBA
    Temple: RHP Ryan Kuehn (Sr., Lehighton, Pa.) – 3.80 ERA, 3-2, 45.0 IP, 16 BB, 20 K


    STAY CONNECTED
    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.


    UP NEXT
    Following the weekend series at Temple, Houston will travel to Clearwater, Fla. next week to take part in the American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship. The Cougars will learn their tournament seed following the conclusion of this weekend’s series to determine pool play and game times next week.


     

     

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