Dec. 26, 2006
HOUSTON - The University of Houston Baseball team recently was ranked No. 33 in Collegiate Baseball magazine's preseason Top 40 poll.
The Cougars finished the 2006 season ranked in all four national polls, including a spot at No. 21 in the final Collegiate Baseball poll. Although 2006 national player of the year Brad Lincoln and notable seniors Matt Weston, Isa Garcia and Brett Logan have departed, UH returns 15 letterwinners and seven starters in 2007.
Leading the way offensively is junior outfielder Bryan Tully who compiled a .322 batting average with six home runs and 28 RBIs. Senior outfielder Jake Stewart batted .321 with seven homers and 33 RBIs and added 13 stolen bases, mostly from the leadoff spot.
Sophomore catcher Luis Flores batted .288 with 30 RBIs and finished third among all Cougar sluggers with eight home runs during his first collegiate season.
Flores also figures to be a key asset on the mound. A year ago, the Del Rio native compiled a 6-3 record with 67 strikeouts and a 3.00 ERA in 87.0 innings of work. After tossing a three-hit shutout against Tulane during the Conference USA Tournament semifinals, Flores would be named to the C-USA All-Tournament Team and eventually be honored as a Freshman First-Team All-American.
Junior righthander Ricky Hargrove posted an 8-6 record with 82 strikeouts and a 3.31 ERA. The Katy native continued his trade during the summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League, where he was named to the All-Star Team.
UH opens its 2007 season when it plays host to Stephen F. Austin at 2 p.m., Feb. 6 at Cougar Field. Season ticket applications are now being accepted in the UH Ticket Office or online at UHCougars.com.
C-USA rival Rice ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll. The Owls were one of four Cougar opponents to be ranked, joining No. 14 Arizona State, No. 16 Tulane and No. 21 Baylor. 2007 opponents McNeese State, UC Irvine, Texas A&M, San Diego, Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern Miss, East Carolina and Memphis also received votes.