Cougars get the broom out for UTA

For the most part, Taylor Hammack and the UH pitching staff had an easy go in the season’s first three-game series against the UTA Mavericks. Hammack ran into trouble Sunday, but Matt Creel came in for relief and maintained the Cougars’ lead. | Aaron Cisneros/The Daily Cougar

The Todd Whitting era is off to a perfect start, as the Cougars swept their opening weekend series with UT-Arlington, beating the Mavericks 6-4 in the series finale Sunday.

“To win your first three games of the season is a huge confidence boost for the ball club,” Whitting said. “For these guys to come in and execute everything that we’ve worked on since the fall to a T is really good.”

An offensive outburst propelled the Cougars (3-0) to their best start since 1993.

In its first turn at bat, UH rang up the Mavericks (0-3) for five runs and did not stop all weekend, outscoring UTA by a total of 30-9.

Offense gives ample support for pitchers

The Cougars were able to jump out to early leads in each of the three games, allowing their pitchers to relax on the mound and throw strikes.

“Once we got the lead everything just calmed down,” Codey Morehouse said. “I just went about it like it was intra-squad.”

By the end of the fifth inning the UH lead had ballooned to 11-0. Jake Runte capped off the scoring by blasting a two-run home run in the eighth to bring the Cougars’ total to 15.

Morehouse went seven innings, allowing four baserunners and striking out six, while only conceding one earned run.

Jordan Lewis followed that up with seven innings of shutout pitching in the following game.

Dakota Dill finished up the game, pitching two innings and preserving the shutout.

Sunday’s starter, Taylor Hammack, only lasted 3.2 innings and gave up three earned runs, but Matt Creel came in and quieted the UTA bats, throwing four-and-a-third shutout innings.

Clinging to a five-run lead late, the Cougars would close the door on UTA when John Cannon scored to give them a 6-4 advantage.

For the weekend, the pitching staff combined to post a 2.00 ERA over 27 innings of work, while holding UTA to a .250 batting average.

The Cougars will host Stephen F. Austin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Cougar Field before beginning another three-game homestand against Ole Miss on Friday.

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