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Volume 68, Issue 143, Wednesday, May 28, 2003 

Sports

UH looks to roll Tide at regionals

Cougars earn fifth consecutive postseason appearance, 16th overall

Cougar Sports Services

Itis the Sweet Sixteenth for the UH baseball program. For the 16th time in school history, the Cougars advanced to the postseason as a No. 3 seed in NCAA Regional in College Station. Itis also UHis fifth consecutive postseason appearance.



Slugging shortstop Hyung Cho (.356, 13 HRs, 58 RBIs) looks to help the Cougars slide past Alabama in the first game of the NCAA Regional at College Station. Game time is set for 2 p.m.

Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar

The Cougars, who finished the season with a 32-27 record, will face No. 2 seed Alabama at 2 p.m. on Friday at Olsen Field in College Station. Texas A&M, the host and No. 1 seed will play No. 4 seed Oral Roberts in the second game of the day at 7 p.m. 

In last weekendis postseason Conference USA tournament, UH started strong, defeating last seasonis champ East Carolina before succumbing to eventual winner Southern Miss in the second game and losing the rematch to ECU.

Cougar ace Brad Sullivan (6-6, 2.58 ERA) is slated to start the first game of the double-elimination tournament against the Crimson Tide. Last time out against ECU, Sullivan scattered four hits over 7.1 innings before departing the game with a blister on his pitching hand. His seven strikeouts upped his career total to 404, giving him exclusive access to the UH 400-strikeout club. The junior righthander is the only UH pitcher to eclipse that mark.

Offensively, the Cougars are powered by shortstop Hyung Cho (.356, 13 HRs, 58 RBIs), designated hitter Travis Tully (.342) centerfielder Michael Bourn (.325, 20 stolen bases) and leftfielder Gabe Lucas (.298, 4 HRs, 21 RBIs). 

UHis record and conference finish (fifth) werenit the reasons for the postseason invite: It was their strength of schedule. Their schedule, ranked 17th nationally, was enough for the selection committee to overlook a mediocre record.

Alabama won the Southeastern Conference tournament for the second consecutive season with their 10-3 win over Louisiana State in the championship game. The Tide is an offensive juggernaut with a pitching staff thatis not overpowering, but must be respected nonetheless. They have five regulars batting over .300, including one-man wrecking ball Beau Hearod (.347, 20 HRs, 80 RBIs). Brent Carter anchors the pitching staff. He has five complete games this season with a 9-5 record and a 3.33 ERA.

The game will be broadcast live on KAXF 88.3 FM or on the Internet at www.uhcougars.com with pre-game expected to start about 15 minutes before the first pitch. The winner of the NCAA Regional at College Station will face the winner of the NCAA Regional at Houston (hosted by Rice) on June 6-8. The victor of that series will pack their bags for Omaha, Neb., for the NCAA College World Series.

 Send comments to dcsports@mail.uh.edu

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