Thursday, February 28, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 103



Baseball will have stiff competition

By Stuart H. Clements
Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston baseball team will go on the road this weekend to participate in the Kia Baseball Bash in Fullerton, Calif.

The Cougars will play No. 11 California State-Fullerton, No. 6 Miami and No. 17 Southern California in the tournament.

Brian Viney/The Daily Cougar

Head coach Rayner Noble will look for increased production from his bullpen, which has been inconsistent early in the season.

Although many were disappointed that the second game of the Silver Glove Series was postponed because of cold weather, Houston
was given more time to rest up for the weekend tournament.

Junior Jesse Crain received two awards this week for his efforts in four games last week. The UH infielder and pitcher was awarded
Conference USA Hitter of the Week on Monday.

The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association honored Crain on Tuesday as National Hitter of the Week.

The Cougars will face the Cal State-Fullerton Titans in their first game of this weekend's tournament. The game will begin at 9 p.m.
Friday. The Titans are batting .305 and the pitching staff has a 4.34 ERA. Fullerton's record this year is 9-4.

Cal State-Fullerton has a powerful pitching staff. The Titans' sophomore closer Chad Cordero was named the Big West Conference
Pitcher of the Week this week.

Cordero had two saves against No. 21 Arizona State and a 1.29 ERA last week. His opponents batted a scant .125 against the ace as
Cordero recorded 10 strikeouts in just seven innings.

Houston will face the Trojans at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. USC has won 12 NCAA Championships, twice as many as any other school, but is
5-5 in overall play this season.

The Trojans swept California-Los Angeles last week in a three-game series and scored 26 runs on 26 hits against the Bruins in one
game. Those 26 runs are the most either team has ever scored in the rivalry.

The week prior, USC took a beating from No. 16 Baylor. The Bears swept the Trojans in three games.

USC belongs to the Pacific 10 along with No. 1 Stanford and ASU. The Trojans were ranked No. 2 in the PAC-10 conference
preseason poll, receiving two first-place votes.

Houston will finish out the weekend against the Hurricanes at 3 p.m. Sunday. Miami, the defending College World Series champion, is
8-4 this season.

The Hurricanes won the College World Series in 1982, 1985, 1999, and 2001. Their success last season earned them the opportunity
to play the Florida Marlins on March 6.

Miami has won six consecutive games, and the team is batting .337. The Hurricanes' pitching staff has an ERA of just 5.38.

Miami's Jim Burt is batting .425, and has three home runs and 13 runs batted in this season. Danny Matienzo has seven home runs, 12
RBI, and a .356 batting average.

KGBC-AM 1540 will broadcast all the Cougars' games this weekend for Houston listeners.

The Kia Baseball Bash marks the beginning of a six-game road trip for the Cougars. After going to Fullerton, Houston will travel to
Lafayette, La., for a three-game series against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Houston will return to Cougar Field to play McNeese State at 7 p.m. March 12.

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