The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Baseball will face its first road test of the year this Friday when it starts a three-game series against Houston at Cougar Stadium on the UH campus. It will be the first time the team hits the road after playing the first 13 games of the year in Corpus Christi, and will be just the second time the teams have ever played.
The Islanders (8-5) have gone on a five-game win streak following the Kleberg Bank College Classic, picking up midweek wins over Texas State and Incarnate Word, while sweeping a three-game weekend series against Dallas Baptist at Chapman Field.
The Cougars (10-3) have won just two straight, with wins over Penn State in a midweek series, but have taken seven of the last eight games they have played, including wins over No. 30 Texas A&M and Baylor last weekend at The Astros Foundation College Classic.
Although separated by just 217 miles of road, the teams have met for just a single game in program history. The contest came last season in a midweek affair, with former Islanders great Daniel Minor bursting onto the scene with a big win over the Cougars.
UH will be looking to repay the favor as they host the team for the three-game set. First pitch on Friday will be at 6:30 p.m. as Trevor Foss (2-1, 0.78 ERA) gets the starting nod on the mound. It is the same time schedule for the Saturday night contest with Trevor Belicek (1-0, 4.76 ERA) making the first weekend start of his collegiate career. The Sunday finale will start at 2 p.m. with Adam Hoelscher (1-0, 4.91 ERA) taking the ball on getaway day.
Offensively, the Islanders are hitting .280 as a team after picking up 11 hits on Wednesday night against Incarnate Word, and have scored 67 runs this year. Leading the way is Kyle Danford, with the sophomore coming on strong as of late to earn a .423 batting average. Shortstop Zach Taylor comes in second at .343, while Jordan Lee is hitting at a .340 clip in 2013. Brad Porras holds a .333 average and Eric Weiss rounds out Islanders hitting above .300 with a .313 mark and a team-high nine RBI on the season. Porras has driven in seven runs this year, while Danford, Lee, Jonathan Gonzales and Brad Lamberti are all tied for third with six RBI apiece.
The Cougars are hitting .276 as a team, but have scored 91 runs on the year, good enough to lead Conference USA in the category. Justin Montemayor leads the team with a .333 batting average, while Kyle Kirk comes in second at .326 and Caleb Barker rounds out the top of the stat column with a .314 average this year, but has had a team-high 13 RBI during the campaign. Kirk and Frankie Radcliff are tied for second with 11 RBI this season.
The Cougars have not announced their starting rotation for the weekend, but Austin Pruitt (3-0, 1.71 ERA), Aaron Garza (1-0, 3.52 ERA) and Daniel Poncedeleon (0-2, 4.91 ERA) have each made three starts for UH. Jake Lemoine (3-0, 0.00 ERA) has been the beneficiary of some comebacks by the Cougars, getting three wins without making a start in his five appearances.
Live stats, audio and video can be found by visiting www.UHCougars.com.
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