April 26, 2007
Houston at Marshall Game Notes
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Conference USA baseball action returns to Appalachian Power Park this weekend when the Houston Cougars visit the Marshall Thundering Herd for a three-game series beginning Friday at 7 p.m. ET. Game two will also start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, with the series finale slated for an 11 a.m. start on Sunday.
Marshall (17-22, 2-9) has won three of its last four games but is coming off a 7-6 loss at Ohio on Wednesday in which it held a two-run lead entering the ninth inning. The loss snapped MU's three-game win streak.
The Herd bats have come alive as of late, evidenced by MU's .356 team batting average over the last five games. Second baseman Josh Valle (Brentwood, N.Y.) is hitting .526 over that span with a .632 slugging percentage. The freshman is riding a five-game hitting streak with multiple hits in each of the last four games.
The series will feature the reigning hitter and pitcher of the week in C-USA. Herd catcher Tommy Johnson (Gaithersburg, Md.) was named the C-USA Hitter of the Week after his phenomenal week at the plate in which he hit .545 in four games, including a two home run performance over the course of the Herd's 2-1 series win at Memphis. Houston junior Aaron Brown, the Cougars' scheduled starter on Friday, was selected as the C-USA Pitcher of the Week for his efforts in upending Tulane. He pitched seven shutout innings versus the Green Wave with seven strikeouts.
Brown will face Marshall's Brian Chrisman (Pittsburgh, Pa.) in game one. The junior pitched 7 1/3 innings in his last outing, at Memphis on Friday, giving up 10 hits and four earned runs with five strikeouts. As has been the case for several of Chrisman's starts in 2007, he lacked run support to drop him to 3-5 on the season due to a 5-3 Herd loss to the Tigers.
Houston (23-17, 9-3) is in second place in C-USA and is ranked 28th in the nation in the latest Collegiate Baseball poll. The Cougars posted a three-game sweep of then No. 23 Tulane last weekend, UH's first ever sweep of the Green Wave in New Orleans, to enter the series winners of four straight.
The best-hitting team in C-USA (.296) features the league's top hitter in left fielder Jimmy Cesario. The junior is batting .385 on the year and has three home runs and 27 RBI for the Cougars.
Houston leads the all-time series, which began last season, 4-0.
All three Houston-Marshall games can be heard live on WRVC 930-AM and on Marshall's student station, WMUL 88.1-FM. All three broadcasts can also be accessed online, via www.marshall.edu/wmul. GameTracker is also available on HerdZone.com.