Tuesday, April 9, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 126



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
East Carolina.

Brian Viney/The Daily Cougar

Senior pitcher Keith Whatley will start tonight against Texas A&M. Whatley has a 6-3 record this season.

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 fans.

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 of 95-45-1.

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 20 RBIs.

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
season Friday.

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 weekend.

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.

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