Return to classic competition highlights baseball schedule
Anticipation for the 2018 baseball season grew Thursday when UH Athletics announced the release of the team’s schedule for the upcoming year. The Cougars enter the fresh slate of games trying to take the next step forward as a program after being ousted in the NCAA Regionals in June.
The 56-game schedule features 35 match-ups in the city of Houston, including 29 at Darryl and Lori Schroeder Park. After finishing 42-21 last season, the team has its work cut out for it to repeat that dominance — the Cougars will have 13 games against opponents that reached the postseason.
Head coach Todd Whitting said the tough competition bodes well for the Cougars.
“Once again, the schedule is one I feel puts us in the best position to earn an NCAA at-large bid,” Whitting said in a news release. “Our non-conference slate is filled with a variety of NCAA tournament teams, which gives us the opportunity to elevate our RPI.”
The Cougars’ road to Omaha will begin in Houston for the 13th season in a row when they host 2017 tournament foe Holy Cross at Schroeder Park from Feb. 16-18. Historically, opening weekend has gone well for the Cougars, who own a 20-1 record in the games under Whitting.
Following a one-year hiatus, Houston returns to the annual College Classic at Minute Maid Park from March 2-4. Although the Cougars’ opponents in the classic have not been announced, a field including Sam Houston State, Vanderbilt and Louisiana, among others, is expected to compete.
Intrastate rivalries will be renewed in 2018 with 13 games slated against eight Texas universities.
The always-anticipated 2018 Silver Glove Series begins March 27 at Reckling Park, followed by an April 7 match-up at home before crowning a champion at Constellation Field on May 15. Rice won the series 2-1 last season.
Whitting is prepared for the test ahead.
“This schedule will be a challenge for our team, and we are looking forward to the competition ahead of us,” he said.