The Houston Cougars baseball team set out the 2014 with the stated goal of making it into the NCAA tournament. The official twitter handle of the team, @UHCougarBB, adopted the hashtag #M64 this season. That is in direct correlation with the program’s plan to be apart of the field of 64 on the road to Omaha.
The Cougars have embarked on that journey in impressive fashion, improving to 7-0 after finishing off the sweep of the Michigan Wolverines at Cougar Field with a 4-3 comeback win Sunday. Houston won each game of the weekend series by one run, coming through in the clutch in all three games.
It was the second consecutive three game series sweep for the Coogs, following a season opening sweep of Nicholls St. last weekend. Sandwiched in between the two sweeps was a 3-0 road win over crosstown rival and the 11th ranked Rice Owls this past Wednesday.
Excellent pitching performances have been the main catalyst to Houston’s hot start, as they have compiled four shutouts in the seven games. The pitching staff has shutout opponents in 60 of 64 innings and hold a 0.84 ERA. After starting the season unranked, the Coogs are likely to find themselves in the rankings very soon.
One night after winning 1-0 with a walkoff safety squeeze bunt by OF Kyle Survance in the tenth inning, Houston rallied from a 3-1 deficit to complete the sweep. OF Ashford Fulmer came through in the clutch, lining a bases clearing three run double in the bottom of the seventh inning that put the Cougars on top for good.
Closer Chase Wellbrock handled it from there, pitching two shutout innings to close the door on the Wolverines and notch his second save of the series and third of the season in three appearances.
The 7-0 start is Houston’s best since they began 10-0 in 1993. They look to continue the hot start when they host McNeese St. at Cougar Field on Tuesday. They then will reunite with former Southwest Conference foes participating in the annual Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park next weekend. In-state Big XII rivals Texas Tech, Texas and TCU are on the Cougars slate at Minute Maid.