Oct. 8, 2008
HOUSTON - The University of Houston baseball team wraps up its first week of fall practice today as part of a month-long schedule that includes two fall games and will culminate on Nov. 8 when the 2008 Cougar Baseball team receives their 2008 Conference USA Championship rings and will be honored at the Houston football game against Tulane.
Houston will play its first fall game Saturday against Alvin Community College at Cougar Field. The game is scheduled to begin at noon. Fans are invited to attend.
UH will continue its weekday practices, which are set to begin at 2:30 p.m. and are closed to the public. Weekend practices are open to all fans. On Oct. 18, the Cougars will play a final fall game against San Jacinto College at noon.
"Offensively, we have to plug in a lot of holes that were vacated by our seniors and Jimmy Cesario," Noble said. "We are looking to solidify someone at second base, shortstop, first base and left field. We have our work cut out for us in getting the offensive side of it where we want it to be."
There are also a lot of new faces of talented newcomers on the team this year that will benefit from the long fall practice schedule.
"We are going to have to lean on some of the new guys to come in and nail down the rest of the infield," Noble said. "It's a good thing that we have a lot of time this fall because we are going to need it."
However, Noble feels the group of pitchers this season will be a strength for the team.
"We've got a nice group of returning pitchers. I am looking forward to seeing them in action during intrasquad games and seeing if we can't get them a little bit better for the season," Noble said.
Sixteen letterwinners return from the 2008 team, which finished with a 42-24 record and finished the season as the 2008 Conference USA Championship Champions. Houston finished with a 14-10 C-USA record and fourth in the regular season.
The Cougars open the 2009 season on Feb. 20-22 when they plays host to Kansas State in a weekend, non-conference series at Cougar Field. The series begins at 6:30pm on Feb. 20, continues at 4pm on Feb. 21 and will wrap up at noon on Feb. 22.