Cougars hope home cookin’ brings wins
After extensive air travel, a first for many of the freshman and transfer students, an eight-game homestand will allow the Cougars a return to one of their greatest strengths.
With a 24-9 overall record and 6-3 record in Conference USA play, tied for first with Rice, UH is happy to be home for an extended stretch.
Cougar Field has been a safe habitat for the squad, seeing as they are 15-3 at home for the season. After their two weekends away from Cougar Field, UH, ranked No. 24, will return home for eight games, starting with a series against Seton Hall University. Home-field advantage is a true axiom in this case because Seton Hall is 7-12 on the road.
Since March 26, the Cougars have played seven of their last eight games on the road. The Cougars had mixed results, finishing 3-4 in those road contests. UH played well offensively and several freshmen made an impact on the game.
Even though UH came up short against Marshall last weekend, losing a series for the first time all season, the team still managed to score 22 runs in three games.
“I think there’s a lot of lessons you can learn from losing,” said head coach Todd Whitting. “There’s a difference in being a learner and a loser, and I think this team is a learning bunch.”
With a team ERA of 3.36, a team batting average of .278 and 11 homeruns, the Cougars are learning at a pretty advanced clip. Several players have been named C-USA Player of the Week. Freshman infielder Josh Vidales was able to reach base safely in more than 20 games while junior catcher Caleb Barker, who made the All-Tournament team as part of the Astros Foundation College Classic, has made the Johnny Bench Award watch list.
Freshman infielder Kyle Kirk said there is no place like home.
“It feels real good to be back here,” Kirk said. “You know, get to play in our home field in front of our home fans.”
The fast start the Cougars enjoyed earlier in the season is still paying dividends as the team expressed no worries about their recent losses on the field.
“It’s baseball,” Kirk said. “You’re gonna lose games; you’re not gonna win every single game.”
The homestand begins with a three-game homestand against Seton Hall starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday.