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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Baseball

Cougars hittin’ the road


Austin Pruitt hopes to keep the trend of strong pitching alive for UH tonight against Louisiana-Lafayette. In his last outing, Pruitt went six innings, striking out seven against Rice.  |  Courtesy of UH Athlectics

Austin Pruitt hopes to keep the trend of strong pitching alive for UH tonight against Louisiana-Lafayette. In his last outing, Pruitt went six innings, striking out seven against Rice. | Courtesy of UH Athlectics

Coming off a winning weekend at the Houston College Classic, the Cougars are hitting the road for the first time this season.

Seven of their next 10 games are on the road.The first destination on the roadmap — Lafayette, La.

The Cougars (6-5) will take on the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns at 6:00 p.m.at Moore Field. The Ragin’ Cajuns (6-5) enter the game having dropped two out of three contests at the UTSA classic in San Antonio over the weekend. Their lone win came against Kansas, 8-6.

Pacing the offense for the Ragin’ Cajuns is sophomore shortstop Ryan Leonards. He is hitting .415 with 17 hits and 11 runs in 41 at bats.

In order for the Cougars to have success on this road trip, they are going to have to continue their stellar starting pitching and keep up the assertive approach at the plate.

“We’re going to have to do what we did last week against Rice,” head coach Todd Whitting said. “(Pruitt) had a great outing and kept us in the game.

“I thought we made a great adjustment over the weekend as far as being aggressive at the plate. Our defense has been pretty solid, we had a few hiccups (Sunday), but we’ve had good defense and quality starting pitching in just about every game this year.”

Following his solid outing against Rice, Austin Pruitt will once again get the Tuesday-game nod.

Like many fathers and sons, or friends that have been on road trips know, these trips can make enduring memories, but they can also be filled with tension.

“There’s going to be a few distractions,” Whitting said. “But those are things that are good for your ball club and something that every college team has to overcome.

“I think there are great benefits to being on the road. You get to spend a lot of time with the players and they get to hang out with each other. It’s a great bonding experience.”

Whitting said being on the road for an extended period of time doesn’t mean the club has an excuse for sloppy play or losses. Their play should be consistent no matter where they are.

“We were a good road team last year, and I expect us to be one again this year,” Whitting said.

 

Ray, Kay recognized for weekend performances

After posting a career-best 10 strikeouts in UH’s Friday win against Tennessee, UH starting pitcher Jared Ray was named Conference-USA Pitcher of the Week.

Ray scattered five hits and one earned run over seven innings of work on Friday in the Cougars’ 7-4 win over Tennessee.

Ray’s efforts were also recognized as a member of the Houston College Classic All-Tournament Team. Also selected to the team was UH freshman Cody Kay, who hit his first career home run in the Cougars’ 4-1 win over No. 4 Arkansas on Saturday.

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