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Friday, May 20, 2022

Baseball

Cougars set to start C-USA play


The Cougars will look to end their road woes in New Orleans this weekend for their first series of Conference USA play against Tulane. UH has lost three of its last five games. Their last victory was a series-opening win against TCU on March 25. | Courtesy of Nathan Pardee/The Daily Skiff

The Cougars will open conference play this weekend as they travel east on Interstate-10 to New Orleans to take on the Tulane Green Wave for a three-game set.

UH, coming off its third consecutive loss, will look to turn around the losing streak and start the conference portion of the season on a winning note.

“You want to get off to a great start in conference,” head coach Todd Whitting said.

Instead of dwelling on the past, Whitting wants his team to catch a case of temporary amnesia.

“I told the team that what’s happened to this point is over with. We’re 0-0. It’s a new season.

“The last few games do not define our ball club.”

The Cougars (12-14) are in the midst of a nine-game road trip, and their energy level is starting to falter.

“The fatigue factor of being on the road so much is going to bring you down a little bit,” Whitting said.

“We’re in the middle of a nine-game stretch, all on the road and against ranked teams.”

In the team’s last three losses, the Cougars have struggled with pitching and hitting. They have allowed 32 runs while scoring 11.

“When you don’t get out of the gates with your starting pitching, it kind of puts the whole team in a mental funk,” Whitting said.

“Our position players sometimes get a little discouraged, but I told them that sometimes they have to pick up the pitching staff.”

Teams performing similarly

The Green Wave (18-6, 1-2 C-USA) have had a solid season so far, but have slumped as of late. They have lost two of their last three games and have dropped out of the top 25 in the USA Today Coaches poll.

The Green Wave are led by catcher and Bellaire native Jeremy Schaffer.

Schaffer leads Tulane in nine offensive categories including batting average (.409), runs (21), hits (38), doubles (17) and RBIs (18).

Last season the Cougars lost their series against Tulane, dropping two out of three, including their last meeting 8-6.

The Cougars lead the all-time series against Tulane 28-24.

“We have a chance to be right in the thick of things in this conference,” Whitting said. “But we need to get off to a good start.”

The series opener is at 6:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Turchin Stadium in New Orleans.

The Cougars will return to Texas on Tuesday to face Texas A&M at 6:35 p.m. in College Station.


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