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Monday, May 16, 2022

Baseball

Cougars set to resume Silver Glove Series


Head coach Todd Whitting and his pitching staff will try to keep discussions at the bullpen to a minimum tomorrow against a productive Rice offense. The last time UH defeated the Owls was a 7-4 victory in 2009 at Cougar Field. | Aaron Cisneros/The Daily Cougar

The Cougars will take on archrival Rice on Wednesday, the first game of a nine-game road swing.

The game will be the first game of the Silver Glove Series this season and the 158th meeting between the two clubs.

“Coach Graham is always going to have a great club,” head coach Todd Whitting said.

“I have a great deal of respect for that program. I’m anxious to play against them.”

Recent success belongs to Owls

The last time the teams faced each other was in last season’s conference tournament, where Rice clobbered the Cougars by a margin more reminiscent of a football score, 24-3.

The Cougars (11-10) were swept by the Owls (13-9) in last season’s series and have managed only one win in the Silver Glove Series in the previous two years.

The last win over Rice was in May 2009, and the most recent UH win of the Silver Glove Series was in 2000, when the Cougars won four out of six contests.

Rice leads the all-time series by a margin of 91-66.

No. 24 Rice is riding a three-game winning streak after sweeping Louisiana Tech over the weekend.

Professional prospect and potential Player of the Year candidate Anthony Rendon leads the Owls with a .338 batting average and a team-high of 24 walks.

Rendon is considered by numerous scouts to be the top draft pick in the upcoming MLB draft.

Chase Jensen and Caleb Ramsey will try to swing the Cougars to a victory against the Owls. Jensen and Ramsey are leading the Cougars and C-USA in hits (37, 33) and RBIs (24, 26) respectively.

Prior to the Cougars’ loss to Kent State on Sunday, they had reeled off four consecutive wins. However, UH has struggled to consistently put together a complete game.

When the UH bats are on, the pitchingstaff seems to struggle. And if the pitchers are dealing, then the offense slumps or the defense has miscues.

Regardless of the Cougars’ frustrations, there is no question about the effort they have been putting in.

“They’re trying hard,” Whitting said. “They’re giving me everything they got. We just have to get better.”

While the student body had time off last week for spring break, the Cougars were far removed from anything relaxing.
The Cougars usually play games on Tuesdays, and will have an extra day to prepare for Rice. The bullpen logged significant playing time during the eight contests played over spring break. The extra time off gives the staff a chance to rest their often-used arms.
“I think physically playing 10 games in two weeks, they can use that extra day,” Whitting said. “It’ll be interesting to see how they come out and respond.”

The game will begin at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at Reckling Park. It will be televised on Comcast Sports Southwest (Ch. 129), the first time a UH game has been televised this season.
The Cougars will head to Fort Worth after Wednesday’s contest to take on Whitting’s former club, TCU, for a three-game weekend series.


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