Farewell to Conference USA: Houston Baseball

June 13, 2013

» Baseball 6/13
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6 - C-USA titles
  • 2008 (tournament)
  • 2002 (regular season)
  • 2000 (tournament)
  • 2000 (regular season)
  • 1999 (regular season)
  • 1997 (tournament)

Postseason Glory (since 1997)
  • 3 NCAA Regional Championships (2003, 2002, 2000)
  • 8 NCAA Berths (2008, 2006, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1997)
  • 17 C-USA Tournament Berths (has made it every year since joining C-USA)

1 - National Player of the Year
    Brad Lincoln - 2006
  • Dick Howser Trophy Winner
  • Brooks Wallace Award Winner
  • Rivals.com National Player of the Year
  • CSTV.com National Player of the Year
  • Roger Clemens Award Finalist

1 - Johnny Bench Award Finalist

1 - RE "Bob" Smith Award Finalist

11 - All-Americans / 44 All-America Honors
  • 11 Cougars named to a respective post-season All-America Team
  • 44 total All-America honors awarded
  • Brad Lincoln (2006), Ryan Wagner (2003), Brad Sullivan (2002), Jesse Crain (2002), Chris Snyder (2002), Kyle Crowell (2000, 1999), Jarrod Bitter (2000), J.P. Woodward (1999), Brandon Caraway (1999), Geofrey Tomlinson (1997), Dustin Carr (1997)
  • Brad Lincoln (2006) named to five All-America Teams
  • Ryan Wagner (2003) named to six All-America Teams
  • Brad Sullivan (2002) named to five All-America Teams
  • Kyle Crowell (2000) named to five All-America Teams

15 - Freshman All-Americans / 20 Freshman All-America Honors

1 - Academic All-American
  • Josh Stineman - 2007
    ESPN The Magazine- Second Team
1 - C-USA Male Athlete of the Year
4 - C-USA Pitcher of the Year 2 - C-USA Newcomer of the Year
2 - C-USA Freshman of the Year 2 - C-USA Coach of the Year
58 - All-Conference Selections
  • 28 of the 58 have been named a C-USA First Team selection
  • Have notched an All-Conference honoree 15 of the 17 years in C-USA
30 - C-USA All-Freshman Team Selections
  • Has had a player on the All-Freshman Team 15 of the 17 years in C-USA
  • 4 were named in 2013 / 5 in 2001 / 4 in 1997 to lead the way
8 - USA Baseball National Team Members 72 - MLB First Year Player Draftees (since 1997)
  • Houston has had at least one player drafted 16 of the 17 years in C-USA
  • Three 1st Round Draft picks Brad Lincoln, Ryan Wagner, Brad Sullivan)
  • 20 total drafted within the Top 10 rounds
1 - All-Region Coach of the Year C-USA Players of the Week
  • 45 - C-USA Pitcher of the Week honorees
  • 26 - C-USA Hitter of the Week honorees

2013 Season - Final Season in C-USA
36-22 (13-11, T-5th)
Postseason: N/A | Coach: Todd Whitting (3rd season)
Houston proved it's on the rise as the Cougars notched its first 30+ win season since '08, finishing with a 36-22 record and tied Rice for the most non-conference wins at 22. The Cougars garnered C-USA Newcomer of the Year Frankie Ratcliff) and Freshman of the Year Justin Montemayor) honors, while having four named to C-USA Second Team (Montemayor, Ratcliff, Austin Pruitt, Kyle Survance) and four to the All-Freshman Team (Montemayor, Survance, Josh Vidales, Jake Lemoine). Montemayor and Survance went on to be named Louisville Slugger Freshman All-Americans. The team also notched a program-best 3.17 GPA in the fall, while 25 were named to C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll. Montemayor and Caleb Barker were tabbed as C-USA Academic Medals and Barker and Daniel Poncedeleon earned Academic All-League honors. Houston senior ace Austin Pruitt tallied 10 wins for the first time since Brad Lincoln had 12 in 2006, while junior reliever Chase Wellbrock racked up 11 saves for the first time since Donnie Joseph had 11 in 2009. The Cougars jumped into the Top 25 national rankings for five weeks midseason - for the first time since 2006 and produced its best 25-game start since 1989 at 21-4.

2008 Season - C-USA Tournament Champions
42-24 (14-10, 4th)
Postseason: College Station Regional | Coach: Rayner Noble (14th season)
Houston had a magical post season run, finishing ranked 30th in the nation in 2008 after capturing the C-USA Tournament title with five wins at the Championship. The Cougars went on to win three games at the College Station Regional, but would fall a win short to advance to a Super Regional. Bryan Pounds and Jake Stewart were First Team All-C-USA honorees, while Wes Musick was a Second Team selection. Chase Dempsay and Blake Kelso were honored as Freshman All-Americans by national publications and Bryan Pounds, Musick and Stewart were All-South Region honorees.

2003 Season
18-12 (T-4th)
Postseason: College Station Regional Champions; Houston Super Regional | Coach: Rayner Noble (9th season)
Houston had its second straight Super Regional appearance, winning the NCAA College Station Regional. The Cougars fell 1-2 in a three-game series at Reckling Park vs. Rice. Ryan Wagner earned six First Team All-American honors, while joiningBrad Sullivan on the All-South Region Team. Hyung Cho and Sullivan were First Team All-C-USA honorees, while Wagner earned Second Team honors. Matt Farrington and Travis Tully were recognized on the All-Freshman Team. Cole Bruce was named College Station MVP. Houston finished the year ranked No. 16 and saw seven players drafted, highlighted by two First Round draft picks in Wagner and Sullivan. Also drafted were Michael Bourn, Danny Zell, Brian Henderson, Brett Cooley, and Cho.

2002 Season - C-USA Regular Season Champions
48-17 (22-7, 1st)
Postseason: Mesa Regional Champions; Austin Super Regional | Coach: Rayner Noble (8th season)
Houston had one of its most recent prolific runs in the post season, finishing ranked No. 9 in the final rankings. After winning the Conference USA Regular Season and Mesa Regional with a perfect 3-0 record, the Cougars fell 1-2 to Texas in the Austin Super Regional, as Texas went on to win the College World Series that season. Brad Sullivan was named Conference Pitcher of the Year and Chris Snyder was a Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year Finalist. Sullivan, Snyder and Jesse Crain were all First Team All-Americans, joined by Stuart Musslewhite as a Freshman All-American. Sullivan, Brett Cooley, Snyder and Crain were all First Team All-C-USA honorees, while Michael Bourn was a Second Team selection. Head Coach Rayner Noble was named South Central Region Coach of the Year and Keith Whatley was the Mesa Regional MVP. Wagner owned the NCAA single-season record with 16.8 strikeouts per nine innings. Crain and Snyder were Second Round selections in the draft, while Cooley, Whatley, and Nathan Mitchell were also drafted.

2000 Season - C-USA Regular Season & Tournament Champions
48-18 (21-4, 1st)
Postseason: Houston Regional Champions; Houston Super Regional | Coach: Rayner Noble (6th season)
2000 marked the only year in C-USA where the Cougars notched the Regular Season and Tournament titles. The program hosted the Regional and Super Regional rounds at Cougar Field - claiming the Regional Championship with wins over Rice and Princeton. With the Regional Championship and Super Regional appearance against San Jose State, the Cougars finished No. 11 in the final national rankings. The team saw itself ranked in the Top 25 every week during the season and was ranked as high as No. 3 during the first week of March. The team won 18 of their last 22 games and swept series vs. No. 3 LSU and No. 5 USC during the regular season. RHP Kyle Crowell was named to five All-America Teams, while battery mate Jarrod Bitter was a NCBWA Second Team All-America selection. Freshman Bryan Harris was honored on Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America Team. Head coach Rayner Noble was named C-USA Coach of the Year and Crowell was named C-USA Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season. The Cougars placed eight (3 - first, 5 - second) on the All-Conference squads and led the nation in fielding percentage (.977) and the league in homeruns (75), doubles (157), triples (16), runs scored (484), ERA (3.58) and slugging percentage (.484).

1999 Season - C-USA Regular Season Champions
40-24 (20-7, 1st)
Postseason: NCAA Houston Regional | Coach: Rayner Noble (5th season)
Houston claimed its first C-USA Regular Season title and went on to host its first NCAA Regional at Cougar Field during the 1999 season. The Cougars wrapped up the year ranked No. 24 nationally and jumped as high as No. 18 during the Regional appearance. Houston won 13 of its last 16 regular season games to finish 20-7 in C-USA play and capture the title. 1999 saw RHP Kyle Crowell, first baseman J.P.Woodward and outfielder Brandon Caraway receive All-America honors, while head coach Rayner Noble notched C-USA Coach of the Year and Crowell was awarded C-USA Pitcher of the Year honors. Houston had six named to the All-Conference Team. The Cougars notched wins over No. 1 Rice, No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 4 Texas and No. 10 Alabama during regular season play for its second 40+ win season since joining the league in 1997.

1997 - C-USA Tournament Champions - First Season in C-USA
40-23 (19-8, 2nd)
Postseason: NCAA South I Regional | Coach: Rayner Noble (3rd season)
1997 marked the first season to play in Conference USA. The Cougars wrapped up a second place regular season finish with a 19-8 mark and went on to claim the C-USA Tournament title en route to an NCAA South I Regional in Baton Rouge, La. Houston was ranked No. 24 during postseason play and the Cougars saw outfielder Goefrey Tomlinson and third baseman Dustin Carr named to All-America Teams, while Shane Nance was named a Freshman All-American. Four were named to the C-USA All-Conference Team, while four were named to the All-Freshman Team.



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