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Friday, May 20, 2022

Baseball

Cougars bare paws to shut out Prairie View A&M


The 2 hours and 12 minutes UH took to amass six runs and shut out Prairie View A&M 6-0 wasn’t even the most impressive stat of the night. That spot belonged to two digits that combined to have more at-home program wins than UH has ever had before at Cougar Field.

UH finished its curtain call at Cougar Field with 25 wins against eight losses, with the quarter-century make coming from the arm of freshman right-hander Andrew Lantrip, who struck out ten, walked two and combined with sophomore Jared West for a four-hit shutout.

“Lantrip was outstanding tonight,” said head coach Todd Whitting. “That’s back to back weeks where he’s been that way.  Great fastball command, he was getting his breaking ball over for a bunch of outs. He hung in there until we could get some separation going.”

UH, who took on a SWAC team for the second time this season, avoided what some in the baseball world call a “trap game,” where a team takes on and beats high competition before moving on to play an opponent that might be overlooked.

“You have to prepare your team all year long for stuff like this,” Whitting said. “As far as it goes for being a trap game, I talked to the team about that, but you have to go out there and play ball. Anything can happen in the game of baseball and the best team doesn’t always win; it’s the team that plays the best, and tonight we were the best team on the field.”

Unlike some of their more dramatic victories, where UH bats didn’t rise from their slumber until the later innings, their game at the plate started early and reached its high note in the bottom of the sixth as UH scored four runs.

“Any time we put on the uniform, we come here and, especially on our home field, we want to come out with great energy,” senior catcher Caleb Barker said.

The added boost of Cougar Field was not lost on the team or Whitting. Senior Jake Lueneburg, along with Barker and the rest of the seniors, played his final regular season home game on Tuesday night.

“It’s been outstanding. This year has really been a lot of fun,” Lueneburg said. “We have tremendous fans and great crowds at every home game. It’s just been a really time, you know? All the support we get each and every game is just outstanding.”

Lueneburg, the man behind several timely pinch hits down the stretch for UH, said that it hadn’t really hit him that this was his last regular season home game at Cougar Field, his ballplaying home since 2012.

“I don’t even know how to explain it,” Lueneburg said. “It’s going to be weird not playing here anymore.  I’m going to miss it, that’s for sure.”

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