West’s career day propels Cougars

Sophomore pitcher Jared West took the mound for his third start of the season. He had a good start by retiring the side in two straight innings and came away with four strikeouts.

West pitched eight innings and set a career-high 11 strikeouts in UH’s 7-1 win over Charleston to complete the series sweep. He allowed only one run and had no walks.

“I felt pretty solid after the first inning,” West said on his career day. “I just had to pound the zone. I kept doing it, and it worked out for me.”

UH (19-4) completed its fourth series sweep of the season. Head coach Todd Whitting said his team’s ability to close out teams, which he said wasn’t a strong suit last season, has been a vast improvement.

“Sundays haven’t normally been a really good day for us,” Whitting said. “I’m really proud of their effort for regrouping and going to work over the last four to five innings.”

Three singles and a game-changing five walks allowed the Cougars to put the game away in the eighth inning. Three of UH’s five runs scored off walks. Charleston finally retired the side after 11 UH batters, but pitchers Aaron Stewart, a senior, and junior Jared Robinson came in to secure the win.

With two outs in the 7th inning, redshirt senior Casey Grayson reached first base on a walk to set up UH. A passed ball from Charleston and singles from sophomores Justin Montemayor and Justin Vidales gave UH a 2-1 lead. With UH clinging to a one-run lead, West retired the side in the eighth inning and picked up his 11th strikeout.

Head coach Todd Whitting said he was proud of West’s outing.

“Eleven punch-outs against what I think is one of the best offensive teams we’ve played all year. That’s pretty impressive,” Whitting said.

“Eleven strikeouts against what I think is one of the best teams we’ve played all year is very impressive. He hadn’t been real sharp early on, and he came out today, regrouped and got going.”

Whitting said he is optimistic for the rest of the season and also looking to build on the team’s sweep of Charleston to develop further, saying, “It’s a process, and we have to keep going all the way through June until we stop playing.”

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