Looking to build some momentum after Tuesday’s 4-3 victory against Lamar, the Cougars will head north to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech for a three-game series.
The Cougars (12-18-1, 1-7-1 Conference USA) have already faced Texas Tech (18-15, 3-9 Big 12) once this season, losing 10-4 on March 4 at the Houston College Classic.
“That stuff is all in the past,” head coach Todd Whiting said. “We’re playing a really good Texas Tech team.
“They’ve got a great balance of speed and power in their lineup, they’re going to play defense on the turf and they pitch just enough. They’ve got some pretty good guys that they run up there on the mound.”
In the midst of a 10-game home stand, the Red Raiders have split the first four games and dropped a weekend series against Texas.
They have also dropped seven of their last ten contests.
“It’s once again, for us, another tough weekend,” Whitting said. “It’s on the road and it’s part of our rigorous schedule, which is ranked No. 1 in the country.
“We just got to go out there and get after it and try to come with a couple of Ws.”
The Cougars offense is coming off of a solid offensive outing. In Tuesday’s win, UH tallied eight hits and were led by center fielder Landon Appling’s 2-for-3, two-run performance.
“I thought we won the game before the game ever started,” Whitting said. “We played (well), fundamental baseball. When we do that, we’ve got a pretty good club.”
Jacob Lueneberg has taken over the team lead in batting average for regular starters with a .308 mark and Chase Jensen leads the team in hits and RBIs with 34 and 27, respectively.
The Cougars have a combined 5.21 team ERA and are led on the mound by Austin Pruitt. Pruitt has a 2.17 ERA in 49-2/3 innings to go with 33 strikeouts.
He will most likely start on Saturday or Sunday, according to Whitting.
“He’s been Mr. Consistency to this point,” Whitting said. “He’s going out there and throwing strikes.
“He hasn’t had a whole lot of run support, so hopefully he can go out and give us the same outing that he’s been giving us and we can put some runs on the board and give him a chance to get a win.”
Pacing the Red Raider offense has been Barrett Barnes. Barnes has a team leading .362 batting average to go along with 12 doubles and six home runs.
On the mound, the Red Raiders have a combined 3.90 ERA. They’re best pitcher this season has been Duke von Schamann who is 4-3 with 43 strikeouts and a 1.97 ERA.
The series gets underway at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Rocky Johnson Field.