PREVIEW: Houston Baseball Begins 2013 Slate by Hosting Northeastern

Feb. 13, 2013

HOUSTON — University of Houston Baseball will embark on its 2013 slate when it welcomes Northeastern to Cougar Field for a three-game series, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. The series will continue at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and wrap up at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Under the direction of third-year head coach Todd Whitting, the Cougars will embrace a team full of 19 newcomers, an entire new infield and several JUCO standouts, looking to lead the way into the new year.

GAMEDAY CENTRAL now offers a Houston Baseball GAMEDAY CENTRAL page that provides fans a one-stop location for all Cougar gameday information. From GameTracker and All-Access links to social media and related city, facility and program information, GAMEDAY CENTRAL offers fans not in attendance a way to stay completely connected during games.

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·      Head Coach Todd Whitting (Houston ’95) returns for his third season at the helm.
·      Houston welcomes 19 newcomers: 10 freshmen, nine JUCO players to the program.
·      New pitching coach Frank Anderson joined the program from Oklahoma State.
·      Houston will play all newcomers in the 2013 infield.
·      Junior Landon Appling was named to the All-Conference USA Preseason team.
·      Houston will host 33 home games in 2013 – most since 33 in 1998.
·      The Cougars roster six seniors, three of which will see action this spring.
·      Sophomore Michael Pyeatt returns after being named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team in 2012.
·      30 of Houston’s 35 players reside from the state of Texas.
·      Appling led Houston in 2012 with a .324 average, 61 hits, 32 runs and 26 RBI.
·      Junior transfer Frankie Ratcliff will take over at shortstop after a strong season at Pensacola JC.
·      Junior transfer Caleb Barker will be Houston’s Opening Day starting catcher after an award-winning two-year career at Grayson CC.
·      Houston’s rotation will be announced on Thursday.
·      Senior RHP Austin Pruitt returns as the Cougars’ top starter from 2012 after leading the team in ERA (4.25), wins (3), strikeouts (57) and innings pitched (91.0).
·      Houston also returns senior LHP Matt Hernandez, who finished last season with a 5.79 ERA and a 1-2 record, pitching out of the pen and in the rotation.
·      The Cougars welcome junior transfer RHP Daniel Poncedeleon, who had an award-winning campaign at Cypress JC and was a 38th Round Pick in the 2012 MLB Draft.
·      Also looking to make an impact as starters will be sophomore RHP Aaron Garza and freshman RHP Jake Lemoine.
·      Out of the pen, Houston will look to junior RHP Chase Wellbrock, who made 16 appearances in 2012. Sophomore RHP Ryan Vruggink, junior transfer LHP Tyler Ford and freshman RHP Grant Slaughter will also see action as the backend rotation for the Cougars.  
·      Finished 2012 with a 23-28 record.
·      Member of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and finished 2012 with a 13-17 conference record    and an eighth place finish.
·      Coached by Neil McPhee who begins his 28th season at Northeastern. He holds an all-time record of 666-597-4 as the Huskies head coach.
·      Returners 20 players (10 position and 10 pitchers) and welcomes 12 newcomers.
·      Infielder Jason Vosler (2012) and outfielder Aaron Barbosa (2011) have won consecutive CAA Rookie of the Year Awards.
·      Returning outfielder Aaron Barbosa finished the 2012 season in the Top 15 in CAA in batting average (.352), hits (75) triples (4), and SAC Bunts (7).
·      Returning pitcher Kevin Ferguson finished the 2012 campaign in the CAA Top 10 in ERA (3.78), strikeouts (66), wins (6), runs allowed (39), earned runs allowed (33) and walks (20).
·      Former first round draft pick and current Houston Astro, Carlos Pena, played his college baseball at Northeastern.
·      Located in Boston, Mass.
Friday: RHP Chris Carmain (2-2, 5.50, 37 K, 17 BB – 2012)
Saturday: RHP Nick Berger (5-4, 5.31, 33 K, 15 BB – 2012)
Sunday: LHP Kevin Ferguson (6-4, 3.78, 66 K, 20 BB – 2012)
·      Houston and Northeastern will meet for the first time in school history this weekend.
·      The Cougars will play four first-time opponents this season.
·      Houston holds an all-time record of 1,612-1,251-16 since 1947.
·      Houston will open at Cougar Field for the seventh consecutive season.
·      The Cougars own a 5-2 record on Opening Day during that stretch.
·      Houston is on a six-game winning streak since Whitting took over in 2011 at home during Opening Weekend with series sweeps over Delaware (2012) and UTA (2011).
·      Friday Frenzy is back for the second straight season.
·      Deal includes: $1 hot dogs, $2 sodas, $3 beers every Friday at Cougar Field.
·      Come out to Cougar Field every Saturday for Bingo at the Ballpark.
·      Fans will be given a Houston Cougar Bingo card that they can fill out as they watch the game.
·      Support the Coogs, play Bingo and win exciting Houston Cougar prizes!
·      Every Sunday is Kids Day at Cougar Field.
·      Bring the family and enjoy an afternoon of baseball with the Houston Cougars.
·      Kids will have the opportunity to participate in National Anthem Buddies, Kids Run the Bases, as well as a special post-game autograph session with the team.
Single-game tickets begin as low as $6 for youth and $8 for adults in general admission seating (Level 200) and as low as $8 for youth and $10 for adults in reserved seating (Level 100). Premium games for the Cougars will include the Baylor-New Orleans weekend, which runs from March 15-17, Texas on March 19 and the Rice series on April 19-21. Premium games begin as low as $8 for youth and $10 for adults in general admission seating (Level 200) and as low as $12 for youth and $15 for adults in reserved seating (Level 100).

For single-game ticket information, click here or contact the Athletics Ticket Office at 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647).

Stay up to date with all Houston Baseball news and highlights by following us on Twitter @UHCougarBB or on Facebook at /HoustonCougarBaseball. Fans can also follow head coach Todd Whitting @toddwhitting on Twitter.

The Cougars will make their first road trip of 2013 when they travel to Huntsville, Texas to take on Sam Houston State at 6:30 pm on Tuesday. They will continue their road tour to play Texas State in a three-game series in San Marcos, Texas, beginning Friday at 6:30 pm.



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