Cougars hope to create more magic

The last time the Cougars visited Greer Field at Turchin Stadium in New Orleans, home of the Tulane Green Wave, UH was in an emphatic, celebratory dog pile on the pitcher’s mound, basking in a thrilling 3-2 victory over Marshall in the C-USA Championship game.’

The Cougars (7-16, 2-1 C-USA) hope that more good fortune graces their presence when they open up a three-game series against the Green Wave at 6 p.m. tonight.

‘There’s some Cougar magic on that field,’ centerfielder Zak Presley said with a smile. ‘We’re really excited to go back and play on that turf.’

The Cougars, who have won four of their last six games, will face a Tulane team, who is red-hot at the plate and on the mound. The Green Wave (15-9, 0-0) is batting .304 as a team with a .498 slugging percentage and 28 home runs, 10 of which have come from senior first baseman Sam Honeck, who leads C-USA in that category.’

On the mound, Tulane is sporting a 3.71 ERA and Green Wave pitchers have held opposing lineups to a .247 batting average.’

However, history has shown that the Cougars always play well when they face off with the Green Wave. UH took two of three from Tulane in 2006 in Houston and swept the Green Wave in a three-game series 2007 in New Orleans before taking two of three last season at Cougar Field.

‘ The Cougars will send southpaw Wes Musick to the mound tonight, hoping he can continue the trend of decent starting pitching that has led to more wins during the last couple of weeks. Head coach Rayner Noble believes good starting pitching will be the difference maker, not only this weekend, but for the rest of the season.’

‘It all starts with our starting pitching because we’ve seen all year long that when we’ve been poor on the mound to start a game, it doesn’t turn out very well,’ he said.

C-USA Pitcher of the Week Donnie Joseph has been a mainstay in relief and as a starter, while Chris Wright has allowed only one run on four hits in his last three appearances. The biggest factor, however, has been all-American closer Chase Dempsay returning to form after a rough start to the season, recording back-to-back saves.

UH looks at conference play as a way to recover from its rough start.

‘We started off (the season) bad, but we’re looking at this as the second part of our season,’ Stuckey said. ‘We’re going to go out there in conference and hopefully do well.’

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