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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Baseball

UH baseball eyes early August for return to campus


UH baseball coach Todd Whitting said the target date for his team to return to campus is around Aug. 1, closer to when fall classes begin. | Courtesy of UH athletics

UH baseball coach Todd Whitting said the target date for his team to return to campus is around Aug. 1, closer to when fall classes begin. | Courtesy of UH athletics

As the University begins to slowly open up its athletic facilities to specific teams, there is still a lot of uncertainty for UH baseball.

While football and both men’s and women’s basketball teams have been given the green light to return to campus for voluntary workouts, baseball has not.

As of now, the target date for baseball to return is closer to when classes begin in the fall.

The target date to return to campus for baseball is Aug. 1, but that date is fluid, and when they do return, the focus will be on conditioning instead of baseball specifically head coach Todd Whitting said on Thursday evening during the Coaches Caravan Zoom video call with fans.

Houston also still has plenty of logistics to figure out, one being how the extra year of eligibility granted by NCAA for spring sports will work out. 

The Cougars have also already lost two pitchers, Lael Lockhart Jr. and Jared Pettitte, through the transfer portal this offseason. 

According to Whitting, they have put waivers in place to allow seniors to come back for next year, but they still have no strong idea what their roster will look like in 2021.

One aspect that has not been affected much is the schedule.

Only an early-season trip to USF and UCF to compete against other American Athletic Conference opponents has been canceled due to the costs and travel.

As of now, Whitting hopes to play at least 24 games, and he said Wichita State will be the Cougars’ common opponent in 2021. They will each play each other six times next season.

As for non-conference opponents, not much has changed either due to most of the opponents being regional. Houston is still set to open against Holy Cross, and the only question marks Whitting mentioned were games against Oklahoma because of potential flight travel and UT- Arlington because of the uncertainty of how their conference will manage things.

The message that the head coach is sharing with his players and staff, however, is patience.

“You can never go wrong if you have your degree,” Whitting said on what he is telling his student-athletes, who may be thinking about entering the MLB draft. “You can definitely go wrong if you sign early for very few dollars.

“Don’t do anything too quick. Just sit back and wait.”

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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