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Friday, September 29, 2023


Gutsy efforts from Pruitt and Wiley not enough as Cougars go winless for the weekend

Neither Austin Pruitt nor Mo Wiley got the decision in UH’s 4-4 tie with ECU on Saturday. Pruitt threw eight innings, allowing two earned. | Hendrick Rosemond/The Daily Cougar

The wheels have fallen off the Cougars’ wagon and it might be too late to get them back on.

For the second straight weekend, the Cougars (11-18-1, 1-7-1) failed to come away with a single win from their Conference-USA series.

East Carolina (22-8-1, 6-2-1) creamed the Cougars in their first two games 10-3, 16-1 and UH wasted a valiant effort on Sunday from pitchers Austin Pruitt and Mo Wiley and had to settle for a 4-4 tie due to a travel curfew.

Pruitt tossed eight innings allowing four runs on 13 hits with four strikeouts. Wiley did his part and blanked the Pirates, going four innings in which he allowed no runs, hits or walks and struck out four.

While the Cougars dropped the series, it wasn’t all bad. Besides the stellar pitching on Sunday, Jacob Lueneberg went six-for-11 in the series with an RBI.

But that was just about all the good news for the team and unless something unforeseen happens between now and the time the Cougars get back into conference play on April 20, their hopes of winning the C-USA regular season title are gone.

Although they can still win a bid to the postseason by winning the C-USA tournament, that seems far-fetched seeing as how they are making more mistakes than a high school kid on prom night.

The Cougars conference schedule still has easy games remaining in it. They face middle-of-the-road teams in Memphis and Tulane and their bottom-of-the-barrel counterparts UAB and Marshall. The only tough series remaining should be Rice, but the Cougars will probably make all of the games harder than they have to be.

Before they get a crack at the rest of the conference schedule, the Cougars will have a chance to regroup with five non-conference games. Their first game is a mid-week matchup against Lamar that gets underway at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Cougar Field.

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