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Houston opens Fall Practice


HoustonCougar HOUSTON – The month-long fall practice schedule is underway for the University of Houston baseball team. The Cougars began their fall workouts on Sept. 28, and the fall slate will conclude on Oct. 29.

UH will hold a scrimmage against Blinn College on Oct. 23 with the time to be announced. It will be the only fall action in preparation for the 55-game 2010 season. Practice will begin each afternoon at 2:30 p.m., while Saturday’s practice is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. start. The team will be off on Sundays.

Fans also should note that the "Bring Back the Red to Cougar Field" campaign is still going on. You can purchase a chairback seat at Cougar Field for $250, which will personalized with your name or in honor a favorite former player, family or friend. More information is available at

Houston welcomes 14 newcomers to the team. Alex Anastas, Joel Ansley, Eric Brooks, Stefan Cloeren, M.P. Cokinos, James Conlee, Matt Creel, Dakota Dill, Austin Gracey, Erik Pesek, Kevin Peters, Tanner Shiflett, Ryan Still and Travis Trial will all be making their debut in a Cougar uniform this season.

To guide the newcomers will be 20 returnees from the 2009 team. Leading the way on the mound will be All-Conference USA Second Team selection Jared Ray. The Waco, Texas native finished with a 4-4 record last season, including a complete game shutout at Marshall. He also pitched a combined shutout with Donnie Joseph against Memphis.

In his second season, Michael Goodnight will also be relied upon as a member of the pitching staff. Goodnight leads all returners with a 4.43 ERA. He went 5-5 last season, with 58 strikeouts. His 65 innings pitched also paces returning Cougar pitchers.

The trio of Blake Kelso, Caleb Ramsey and Zak Presley finished as the top three in batting average a season ago and will be back to defend that title.

Kelso, a two-year starter at shortstop finished batting .335 with a team leading 16 doubles and 23 RBI. The Pfluggerville, Texas native saw his streak of 101 games batting in the leadoff position snapped on April 26, 2009. He would bat in second position for the next three games before returning as the leadoff hitter.

Ramsey finished with a team-high 46 RBI a year ago and was second on the team with a .332 batting average. He added 11 doubles, two triples and four homeruns. His double total was the third most on the team. The Houston native also started all 58 games at leftfield.

Guarding the center field wall was Presley. The Southlake, Texas native is one of four seniors on this season’s team. Presley finished with the team’s third highest batting average, .301, and added 28 RBI. He also finished tied for fourth on the team with 10 doubles, including two triples and two homeruns.

The trio of Kelso, Ramsey and Presley were the only Cougar players to start all 58 games at their respective position.

UH will have a void to fill this season with the loss of Donnie Joseph. An All-Conference USA First Team selection in 2009, Joseph was drafted as the 88th overall pick by the Cincinnati Reds in the MLB Draft. He finished his junior season with a 2.16 ERA and 11 saves with 75 strikeouts. Wes Musick also left the Cougar squad after being selected in the ninth round by the Colorado Rockies.

Houston will open the 2010 season with a three game series against Texas State on Feb. 19-21. The first pitch of the season is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 19, with the series continuing at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 and concluding at 1 p.m. on Feb. 21.

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