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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Baseball

Wellbrock’s enters record books after lifting UH from jam


Amid the workmanlike 6-3 victory was senior Chase Wellbrock’s ascension as UH’s new all-time leader in saves.

No. 15 trotted out with two innings left and dismantled a bases-loaded scare in the eighth and struck out the side to end the game later on in the ninth, getting the remaining two Towson batters out swinging. The effort was enough to put the seal on UH’s 13th win of the season at Cougar Field on Friday.

Wellbrock said the feat had been in the back of his mind since before the season started. Despite joining the record books and the subsequent celebration, he was quick to compare the simple act of winning with his own accomplishment.

“It’s a great feeling,” Wellbrock said after the game. “But it’s an even better feeling knowing we win. Honestly, as long as we’re winning, I don’t really care what the save column (says).”

Head coach Todd Whitting, who has presided over Wellbrock’s time at UH, noted that the effectiveness of the senior righthander has given him peace when he calls to the bullpen.

“That guy, over the course of the last few years, has been clutch for us,” Whitting said. “Tonight was just kind of a normal deal for him. I just hope he can keep that thing going all the way through the end of the season. He’s pretty much nails. I get a little bit of comfort with him whenever he goes in the game. He’s proven that he’s able to shut the door on people.”

The game saw UH put up six runs and nine hits, which were backed up by the fifth win for undefeated junior righthander Aaron Garza — which, in concert with Wellbrock’s performance, was enough to further bolster the reputation of UH pitching.

“Garza threw a great game tonight,” Wellbrock said. “My hat’s off to him.”

From the plate, the main offensive burst of the night came from Caleb Barker’s two-out double in the third inning that provided three RBIs. The senior catcher was backed by RBIs from senior first baseman Casey Grayson and one RBI from leftfielder Michael Pyeatt. The six runs were enough to cushion UH pitching from the third inning on.

“It was a gritty effort,” Whitting said.

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