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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Baseball

UH takes on mighty Rebels of Mississippi


The Cougars will continue their road swing this weekend as they head to Mississippi to take on the No. 14 Ole Miss Rebels.

The three-game series gets underway at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Swayze Field.

After stranding several runners in their first road loss of the season, the Cougars (6-6) need to correct a few things if they hope to avoid singing the Mississippi blues.

“We just need to go out there and perform the way I know we can,” head coach Todd Whitting said.

“In order for us to be successful, we need to get some production from the three-, four- and five-hitters. They’re going to have to start swinging the bats better. That’s been our achilles heel.”

Despite the .500 record, the UH starting pitching has been spectacular.

Jared Ray (1.42 ERA) has been lights-out on Friday nights, striking out a team-leading 20 batters.  Jordan Lewis (2.16 ERA) has been great on Saturdays and Aaron Garza (3.77 ERA) and Austin Pruitt (1.93) have been solid in their respective Sunday and Tuesday roles.

“They’ve kept us in every ballgame, with the exception Sunday’s game,” Whitting said.

“If we keep pitching the way we’re pitching we have a chance to win every game.”

The rotation will hold steady this weekend.

Pacing the UH offensive attack is Jake Runte. Among players that have started more than 10 games, Runte leads the team in average (.341), hits (15), and slugging percentage (.477). He’s also gobbled up everything that’s come his way since he took over the shortstop position.

“He’s having a great season,” Whitting said. “He’s been money at shortstop. If he gets a glove on the ball at short, its pretty much been an out.”

The Cougars will need to be ready for an Ole Miss (9-2) squad that’s coming in off of a 20-4 whooping of Tennessee-Martin. Leading the Rebels at the plate is Zack Kirksey who is batting .500 and has 21 RBIs in only 21 at bats.

Overall, the Rebels are batting .341 as a team and have scored 97 runs. The Cougars on the other hand have a team batting average of  .276 and have scored 54 runs.

Luckily for the Cougars, stats are like a girl in a bikini, they show a lot, but not everything.

We’ll see how they do this weekend.

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