UH will take on the Aggies
By Stuart H. Clements
Daily Cougar Staff
The Houston baseball team fell to No. 7
from No. 5 in this week's Baseball America poll after going 2-2 last week,
with two losses coming against
Brian Viney/The Daily Cougar
Senior pitcher Keith Whatley
will start tonight against Texas A&M. Whatley has a 6-3 record this
The Pirates' success against the Cougars
helped them jump back into the poll at No. 20. Houston fell to 23-10 overall,
8-4 in Conference USA.
The Cougars lost their No. 1 ranking in
the league but are tied at No. 2 with Louisville and Texas Christian, trailing
by only one win.
Houston's next challenge is No. 18 Texas
A&M. The Aggies are 26-11 coming off a 3-1 weekend, their only loss
coming against Texas-Pan American.
A&M played a doubleheader against Pan
Am and won the first game, marking the 750th career win of head coach Mark
Johnson, but dropped the
second game in front of more than 4,000
The two Texas rivals will battle at 7 p.m.
today at Cougar Field. Houston and A&M last met in the Astros College
Classic, where the Cougars retired the
Aggies 3-2, stifling a ninth-inning comeback.
The Aggies and the Cougars first met in
1949, and A&M leads the all-time series by a wide margin with a record
Senior Keith Whatley will take the hill
for the Cougars. The southpaw from Atlanta, Texas, ranks among the top
pitchers in the league this season with
a 6-3 record and a 4.47 ERA.
Whatley has tallied 30 strikeouts in 44
and one-third innings.
Whatley started Saturday against ECU, but
was removed after just one-third of an inning where he gave up two unearned
runs and walked three
Whatley recorded his first win of the season
when he pitched the third game of the season against the Aggies.
Although the Cougar offense has been in
a bit of a slump, several players continue to flourish.
Five of the Cougars' eight starters have
batting averages over .300, and four of the eight have tallied more than
Junior Jesse Crain leads the Cougar offense
with a .324 batting average. Crain has held the highest batting average
for much of the season, and has
recorded three home runs and 21 RBIs.
Junior Chris Snyder dropped from the lead
in RBIs, but has raised his batting average to .313, the second highest
on the team for both. Snyder still
holds 23 RBIs.
Junior Anthony Scalise recaptured the team
lead in RBIs with 24. Scalise led in this category earlier in the season,
and also hit his first home run of the
Scalise and sophomore Michael Bourn each
have a .311 batting average. Bourn also leads the team in stolen bases
with 15 in only 20 attempts.
Freshman Stuart Musslewhite bats .310
and leads the team in doubles with nine. Junior Brett Cooley leads the
Cougars in home runs with seven.
Cooley hit two against the Pirates last
Aggie sophomore Kyle Parcus will start
on the mound for the second time against the Cougars. Parcus, a southpaw,
has a 2-2 record for the season
and has recorded a 3.15 ERA in 34 and
one-third innings of work.
At the Astros College Classic, Parcus tallied
five strikeouts while giving up only one run on four hits in five innings.
Matt Alexander will lead the Aggie offense
into battle with a .324 batting average.
Aggie Neal Stephenson leads with seven
home runs. Tonight's face-off against Texas A&M begins a nine-game
stretch for the Cougars where all their
games will be in Houston.