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Volume 68, Issue 126, Friday, April 4, 2003


Coogs forget about Rice

By Emily Davis
The Daily Cougar

There has been no silver lining for UH in the Silver Glove Series, which has looked a lot like a dark cloud over the Cougarsi season. And Tuesday night was the darkest yet.

In a game in which UH hoped to hand No. 1 Rice its second loss of the season and end a nation-best 25-game winning streak, the Cougars managed only one hit and couldnit get a single runner past first base.

Junior pitcher Danny Zell and the Cougars have already put Tuesdayis 11-0 loss to Rice in the past. Theyill host Alabama-Birmingham in a three-game series at Cougar Field beginning at 7 p.m. tonight.

Brian Viney/The Daily Cougar

Seven innings and seven pitchers later, UH trudged off the field with an embarrassing 11-0 loss.

Now the Cougars must dust off their pride and do what has come easiest to them this season -- win a three-game Conference-USA series.

UH (14-15, 6-3 in C-USA) swept Cincinnati two weeks ago and won two out of three against Texas Christian last weekend -- both on the road, where the Cougars have actually played better in conference.

The Cougarsi only conference losses have come at home this season, and Alabama-Birmingham will be the next league opponent to try to walk out of Cougar Field with a series win when it visits at 7 p.m. today and Friday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

"We always get pumped for conference matches," said pitcher Gene Flores (1-2, 5.74 ERA), who took the loss for UH on Tuesday. "No matter who the opponent is, we come out."

UAB (21-7, 6-2) took a 13-4 spill against No. 5 Mississippi State on Tuesday but is in second place in the conference standings and has a 3-3 road record in CUSA.

UH is in a third-place tie with TCU in the conference standings, and although the Cougars were shut down by the Owls on Tuesday, the likes of Hyung Cho (.383, five home runs, 18 RBIs), Thanos Papavasiliou (.287, 1 HR, 17 RBIs) and Stuart Musslewhite (.264, 28 hits, 10 RBIs ) wonit likely stay muzzled for long.

But the Blazers will bring some lumber of their own to the series. Led by catcher Eugene Rodriguez, who was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI on Tuesday, UAB has five hitters batting over .300 this season, including outfielder Kyle Leon (.440, 8 HRs, 35 RBIs), who has the second-highest batting average in the league.

"Our hitters are going strong," assistant coach Todd Whitting said. "But (each team) brings in their own big guys. This makes it a game."

After this weekendis series, the Cougars host Southwest Texas on Tuesday before traveling to Tulane on Friday.

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