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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Baseball

Cougars reignite Southwestern Conference rivalry


After going 3-0 during the weekend, UH will face Texas and Harvard this weekend.  | Esteban Portillo/ The Daily Cougar

After going 3-0 during the weekend, UH will face Texas and Harvard this weekend. | Esteban Portillo/ The Daily Cougar

Having already beaten Baylor three times and Texas A&M once, the next in-state challenge for the 16-4 Cougars will be against the University of Texas on Tuesday at Cougar Field in what may be their biggest test of the season.

The Cougars, despite the pressure and large attendance the game is expected to bring, remain adherent to the same mentality that led them to a 3-win weekend.

“We’re just going to keep doing the same thing we’re doing,” said head coach Todd Whitting. “I’m not going to change anything for conference play and I’m not going to change anything for Tuesday night against Texas.”

The Cougars — who broke into the national rankings at No. 28 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll — have a 13-0 record when leading after six innings.

“Tuesday is just another game for us. The Texas Longhorns have a good history, but we’re not worried,” said redshirt sophomore Frankie Ratcliff, who had three hits in Sunday’s game. “We are going to go out and play hard like we normally do and see if we can come out with a win.”

At .740, Texas has the highest winning percentage of any team in NCAA Division 1 baseball. Numbers aside, Whitting did not express worries that his team would be in awe.

“I think it’s great for our fans and the people who are passionate about Houston baseball,” Whitting said. “But for our team, most of these guys don’t know anything about that rivalry because they’ve never been in college (at the Division 1 level) before. It’ll be exciting, there will be a big crowd out here, but I think it’s a bigger deal for the people that are coming to the game than it is for us.”

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