Nov. 10, 2010
HOUSTON - Following more than a month of team workouts and intrasquad scrimmages, the University of Houston baseball team concluded its fall practice season Wednesday afternoon.
The team, under the direction of first-year head coach Todd Whitting, was tasked with learning a new system and accomplishing a set of goals that were put in place on the first day of the fall season. Despite all of the changes, Whitting was pleased with the outcome of practice sessions.
"As a staff we have accomplished every goal that we set for the fall," Whitting said. "We put the offense into place and the mechanics that go into swinging the bat. Defensively, we have put in most of the things that we will do, and we will continue working on those things in the spring."
"To this point, we got through the fall with everyone relatively healthy and we got everything accomplished that we wanted to at this point, so we had a really good fall."
With a lot of change put in front of the team, Whitting was most pleased with how willing his team was to learn.
"The team is very coachable, and they have done a really good job of taking to the new staff," Whitting added. "It is a new way for everyone as far as how we do things, whether it is how you get dressed in the locker room to how you stretch and all the way through to how you practice. It is a lot for a team to take on in the fall, and these guys have done a really good job at this point."
The team will now transition into individual workouts and will have an increased presence in the weight room. Their weight training has already been increased and now each player will work to improve individually through the winter.
"Now that the fall has concluded we have picked up the pace in the weight room," Whitting said. "We will amp up the weight workouts from here until Christmas and we will go into our individual work."
"The individual work will be very important. Everything that we have done in the fall has been a team activity, and this will be the point where we get better individually. Each coach has his assignments with the players, and now is the fun time of year where we can get individually better.
Houston will return 19 letterwinners, including 12 position players and seven pitchers from last year's team. The Cougars also will welcome 10 newcomers to the roster this season.
Whitting came to Houston after spending the last seven seasons at TCU. Prior to his stint with the Horned Frogs, Whitting served on the UH staff from 1995-2003.
UH opens the 2011 regular season at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 18 against UT Arlington at Cougar Field. The weekend series will continue at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 19 and conclude at 1 p.m., Feb. 20.