Cougars are 8-4 in last 12 AAC games
It was a strange week for Cougar baseball. With rain outs on Wednesday and Friday, UH and Tulane had to get in a double-header on Saturday and an afternoon game on Sunday. UH went almost exactly 6 days between games (143 hours, 47 minutes) and then played 3 that began within 23 hours of each other.
The rain out on Wednesday vs. FAU deprived this team a chance to get another top-50 win and to strengthen their résumé and RPI. On the flip side, this is the time of the year that coaches want to avoid lengthy rain delays during games – it stretches out bullpens at a time when they need to be preserved.
In Or Out? I believe the Coogs are in the NCAA tournament as of today. They can certainly play themselves out of it with a series loss at UCF and/or an 0-2 AAC tournament. UH is 36th in today’s RPI report with a 5-7 record vs. top-50 teams. This weekend’s opponent UCF has snuck into the top-50 (49th) and travels to #34 FAU tomorrow. That helps.
AAC Pileup – The Cougars are in 4th place currently in the league standings. Because Tulane has a rain out from earlier in the season, they have a distinct advantage over everyone in the race to second place. If the Greenies win 2 this weekend, they force UH to sweep UCF in order to claim 2nd.
Randel’s Rarity – Ryan Randel pitched a gem on Sunday – he went 7.1 IP giving up just 3 hits and no earned runs. Digging deeper, his effort was even more impressive.
Heading into the game, Tulane’s top 3 batters were all among the top-10 in hitting in the conference. Kody Hoese (.412) and Hudson Haskin (.379) were 1-2 while Trevor Jensen (.332) was also in the top-10. The three guys had combined to hit .368 and slug .644 (Hoese at .843 was #2 in the nation). Hoese also leads the country in homers.
With all that said, Randel held all three without a hit. It was only the 3rd time this season that the 3 all played and all took the collar. The trio went 0/12 against Randel with 2 walks.
But Randel’s performance was even better than the other two times this has happened: in the other two games, they combined for only 9 ABs (@Cincinnati – 3/31) and 8 ABs (UCF – 5/5). It also should be noted that the three players combined for 6 walks in the Cinci game and 5 in the UCF game. Randel went at them and won the game and the series for his team.
I believe it was the best start the Cougars have had all season.
(Note: Nolan Bond relieved Randel in the 8th but did not face any of these 3 hitters.)
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Kyle is Klutch: Can we just appreciate what Kyle Lovelace did this weekend?
Life as a catcher can be thankless.
In a 25-hour, 48-minute stretch this weekend, @lovelacekyle caught all 28 innings of the Tulane series. That's 11 hours, 38 minutes of game-time & 467 pitches.
Both guys that tried to run on him were gunned down, too.
— GoCoogs.com (@gocoogs1) May 13, 2019
329 of those pitches were on Saturday. He had just 12 hours before putting on the gear again.
Lineup Differences – Tulane has always been the strangest southern school. Their starting lineup reflects that – check out their home states:
3. New York
Compare that to UH’s:
Cherry Blossom – Derrick Cherry went 6/11 this weekend with 3 walks and a HBP while driving in four runs. That’s a cool .667 OB% for the week.
The Series Pt 1 – Tulane and Houston have a great shared history in baseball. During the heyday of the rivalry in C-USA, one of the two programs won 11-straight regular season or tournament championships (Tulane 6, Houston 5). In their time together in that league, the schools combined for 14 total titles (Tulane 8, Houston 6).
The Series Pt 2 – Since Tulane’s move to the AAC, UH has a 4-1 advantage in titles giving the Cougars a 10-9 overall edge. Tulane won a C-USA tournament title in 1996 while UH was still in the SWC and Houston won an AAC tournament title in 2014 while Tulane was still in C-USA.
Part 3 – Sunday’s win was UH’s 50th all-time over the Green Wave. UH holds a 50-40 lead in the series.
Ok, last one: Since 2001, UH is 16-5 in weekend series openers vs. Tulane. The Coogs are just 21-20 in game two and three of the series in that span. This weekend, UH won the opener and split games 2 and 3.
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