Cougars get chance at big league
UH redshirt sophomore left-hander Wes Musick made his final appearance of the season in the Cougars’ 13-5 loss to Texas A’M in the College State Regional championship game on June 2.
That could have been Musick’s final appearance in a UH uniform.
Musick was taken by in the 24th round (No. 717 overall) of the major league draft by the San Francisco Giants on Friday. Joining Musick were senior second baseman Ryan Lormand (26th round, Giants), senior third baseman Bryan Pounds (34th round, Detroit Tigers) and junior first baseman Jimmy Cesario (46th round, Colorado Rockies).
Also selected was UH signee Michael Goodnight, a right-hander from Houston’s Westside High School. He was drafted in the 27th round by the Cleveland Indians.
This season, Musick was the Cougars’ top starter with an 8-4 record, 4.35 ERA and a team-leading 87 strikeouts. Lormand batted .330 with 59 RBIs and a team-high 29 stolen bases. Pounds led the team in batting average (.354) and RBIs (67) and was second in home runs (10). Cesario hit .326 with nine homers and 41 RBIs.
Musick and Cesario have the option of returning for another season to improve their stock for next year’s draft. Musick has two years of eligibility remaining and Cesario has one.
The two have until Aug. 15 to sign with their respective teams. After that, they’ll have to re-enter the draft pool for next season.
Surprisingly, UH senior outfielder Jake Stewart wasn’t drafted in the later rounds, despite having a strong season. He was the Cougars’ top slugger with 14 homers and finished second in batting average (.332) and stolen bases (25).
In recognition of their outstanding freshmen seasons, shortstop Blake Kelso and closer Chase Dempsay were named to this year’s Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-America team on Wednesday.
Dempsay was also named to the inaugural National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Freshman All-America first team on Monday.
Kelso hit .288 with three homers, 15 doubles, 35 RBIs and stolen 19 bases. Dempsay, who began the season as a midweek starter, went 8-3 with a 2.53 ERA and 11 saves in 33 appearances. His wins and saves totals were both UH freshman records.
Stars on the diamond
Senior softball pitcher Angel Shamblin, junior outfielder Laurie Wagner and junior shortstop Jessica Valis all had key roles in helping the Cougars advance to their first super regional this season.
On May 28, they achieved another first after becoming the first players in program history to be named All-Americans.
Shamblin was named to the 2008 Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American second team. Wagner and Valis were named to the third team.
This season, Shamblin went 36-5 with a 0.94 ERA en route to winning her record third consecutive Conference USA Pitcher of the Year award. She finished her four-year career at UH with a 94-33 record and as the program’s all-time leader in several pitching categories, including wins and strikeouts (877).
Wagner, who was named to the All C-USA first team, batted .401 with a team-high 19 home runs and 57 RBIs this season. The 19 homers set a school single-season record.
Valis led the Cougars in batting average (.431), hits (88), stolen bases (20), triples (five) and shared the lead for runs (51). Valis, who was also named to the All C-USA first team, was last year’s C-USA Player of the Year.