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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Baseball

Cougars kick off fall schedule against Rice


Five months after falling to Rice in the Conference USA Championship title game in extra innings, the Cougars are moving on and starting fresh with a new squad.

“The fall has gone great,” head coach Todd Whitting said. “We have over 20 new players in the
program. We have a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm.”

The first step for the next batch of players is fall baseball.

Last fall, the Cougars did not play any fall games because Whitting was preparing for his first season as head coach and getting his program in order.

“The reason I scheduled two scrimmages this fall is because I felt like having this many new players, we
need to get them into competition against somebody other than themselves,” Whitting said. “We have two
great opponents this fall in Rice and the University of Texas. It’s really just an opportunity for both teams
to come out and get better.”

One of the new faces on the team is left handed pitcher Matt Hernandez, who transfered from Blinn College. Hernandez was selected as a Texas-New Mexico Junior College All-Star and also led the Buccaneers in wins as freshman in 2010 with seven.

Hernandez said that he decided to come to Houston because of the talent on the club and great coaches.

“I thought that it was a good opportunity to be on a good team and it’s close to home,” Hernandez
said. “We have a really good group of guys.”

The scrimmages will give Whitting an opportunity to get a better feel for the abilities of his new players like Hernandez.

“The only thing I guess we have to worry about is our inexperience and that’s what these two scrimmages
are for,” Whitting said.

The Cougars begin fall play at 1 p.m. this Sunday against Rice at Cougar Field.


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