Cougars Peaking at the Right Time – From the Bird’s Nest
Back on April 7th, Houston came to M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field for a non conference game, won by the Cajuns, who scored three in the bottom of the ninth to win 6-5.
Since then the Cougars have been pretty doggone good.
Houston comes into the NCAA Regionals hosting for the first time since 2000. They have won 19 of their last 23 games.
They've done it with great pitching, allowing just 37 runs in their final eighteen conference games. In the process, the Cougars have lowered their team ERA to 2.99. Andrew Lantrip (8-3, 2.50) is the leader of the staff, while Kyle Dowdy (9-2, 2.62) has been a solid #2 starter. Seth Romero(7-4, 2.17, 7 saves) can either start or relieve and David Longville (5-2, 2.5) can start as well. This staff makes you earn it; they've walked only 145 batters all season, while striking out 439.
Houston hits .271 as a club with five starters hitting over .300. Chris Iriart (.306-14-39) has great power in the middle of the lineup. Kyle Survance (.301-2-33) has stolen 30 bases. Nine players have at least 25 RBI on the season, led by Jacob Campbell (.303-5-40).
Defensively, the Cougars are pretty average. Their .968 fielding percentage won't scare anyone, but they have turned 50 double plays on the season.
Like Rice, Houston relies on their pitching staff to get it done. The top three guys haven't allowed much at all down the stretch and to beat them, you have to pitch with them. They aren't going to walk people, so be prepare to earn what you get.