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Friday, September 29, 2023


Bats wake for Cougars in penultimate season series


Sophomore shortstop Frankie Ratcliff had back-to-back three hit games against UAB this weekend. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

UH has 33 wins and a dose of the all-important momentum after taking two of three games against UAB.

Offense propelled the Cougars to win their penultimate series of the regular season — the Cougars scored 28 runs in their three games against UAB and managed a 14-hit game on Saturday during a 11-2 win.

The squad now stands at 33-19 for the season with an 11-10 record in Conference USA play.

“This is a big series win for us,” said sophomore righthander Aaron Garza, who was the winning pitcher in Sunday’s 9-4 victory. “We want to have a solid week of practice, and come out ready for Southern Miss.”

Freshman outfielder Kyle Survance had one of the best games of his young Cougar career with a four-hit, two-RBI game on Saturday. He followed it up on Sunday with a two-hit game. For the entire series, he had eight hits and was able to reach base for the 20th consecutive time on Sunday.

Junior outfielder Landon Appling also stood out in the batter’s box as he went 2-3 on Saturday then drove in two runs on Sunday. Sophomore shortstop Frankie Ratcliff had back-to-back three hit games on Saturday and Sunday.

“Coach and I have been working on getting pitches to hit,” Ratcliff said. “I’ve been trying to take what the pitchers give me and hitting the ball where it’s pitched. Luckily it’s been working for me and I feel good at the plate.”

The pitching also kept Blazer batters at a safe distance throughout the series. Senior righthander Austin Pruitt got his eighth win of the season on Saturday and Garza picked up his fifth win in the series finale. Sophomore righthander Tyler Ford got his second save of the season in relief of Pruitt on Saturday. Cougar pitchers struck out 22 UAB batters through the course of the series.

In the first game of the series, the Cougars lost 8-7 after surrendering two runs in the ninth inning.

“We came out playing hard on Friday, but they were able to come back and get a win,” Ratcliff said. “That happening really fired us up, and we came out the next couple of days to get two big wins.”

With the postseason approaching and the magnitude of each game heightening, head coach Todd Whitting voiced confidence in his team.

“Two out of three, you can’t complain about winning a series.” said Whitting. “There’s still a lot of season left; we’ve got three games against next weekend and at least three games in the Conference tournament, so we’ve got a ton of baseball to play. We’ve just got to keep playing.”

Instead of the normal Friday through Sunday series, the Cougars will take on the Golden Eagles of Southern Mississippi this Thursday through Saturday at Cougar Field.

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