Tuesday, April 16th, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 131



Despite Silver Glove losses, baseball deserves support

Stuart Clements

Sports Opinion

Houston should never lose to Rice at anything, and the fact that the Cougars have dropped three games of this season's Silver Glove series is enough
to make Cougars want to bury their heads in the sand.

Houston has a perennial advantage over the Owls in the Silver Glove. Since the teams first met in 1948, the Cougars have held the advantage of 61-54,
but their lead is shrinking. The days of Jose Cruz Jr. are over at Rice, and having Cruz' younger brother Enrique on the team is not an acceptable
excuse for negligent performances against the No. 3 Owls.

Rice has a tough baseball club this season, and has played to its potential for the most part, but the Owls can buckle under the right amount of
pressure like every team. Texas Tech was able to dish it out to Rice in the Astros College Classic, and Houston is head and shoulders above the Red
Raiders. So there's no reason for the Cougars' all too frequent debacles against the Owls this season. After all, Houston is No. 7 in the nation, making
it formidable competition for Rice.

But the Owls have won the Silver Glove this year, and there's no getting that back, but don't dwell on the past. The Cougars still have one last
opportunity to save some face and hit the Owls where it hurts the most: at home.

Tuesday's game is at Reckling Park, and it's time for the Cougars to step up and win this one. Rice has already violated the sanctity of Cougar Field by
winning the third game and series on Houston's home turf, and so the Cougars owe them one. As the season rapidly approaches its close, the
Cougars have very few nationally ranked teams to play as well. Aside from Rice, the Cougars will play only No. 16 Baylor.

These games will be a key factor in decisions for post-season regional locations. If Houston has a chance of playing host to a regional then the
remainder of the season must be excellent.

The Cougars are nearly unstoppable when they play at Cougar Field, and the advantage would help their chances of going all the way this season.

Aside from poor Cougar performances there's still the fans to blame. Crickets sing in the vacant stands at ball games and not Cougars, so get out and
support the team Tuesday.

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