#24 Houston Baseball 2017 Preview

Houston Cougars
Overall Rank: #24
Conference Rank: #2 American
Following back to back trips to the NCAA Tournament, Houston just missed out in 2016. Coach Todd Whitting has a very talented group heading into 2017 though and this team should be able to get over the hump and compete for an ACC title. The Cougars boasted the nation’s second best ERA a year ago and it should be more of the same in 2017. Seth Romero is an All-American talent who went 6-4 with a 2.29 ERA as a sophomore. Fellow regular starters Mitch Ullom and John King are also back. Romero will be the ace of the staff, but Ullom and King are very dangerous hurlers as well.
2016: 36-23, 11-12
2016 Postseason: None
Coach: Todd Whitting
Key Departed Players:
Andrew Lantrip, P, 2.60 ERA, 90.0 IP, 84 SO
Nick Hernandez, P, 1.40 ERA, 51.1 IP, 67 SO, 11 SV
Michael Pyeatt, .281 BA, 0 HR, 10 RBI
Justin Montemayor, .251 BA, 4 HR, 33 RBI
Zac Taylor, .250 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Seth Romero, P, 2.29 ERA, 94.1 IP, 113 SO
Mitch Ullom, P, 2.88 ERA, 78.0 IP, 39 SO
John King, P, 3.51 ERA, 59.0 IP, 42 SO
Trey Cumbie, P, 1.29 ERA, 56.0 IP, 42 SO
Corey Julks, UTL, .332 BA, 3 HR, 28 RBI
Joe Davis, C/IF, .331 BA, 14 HR, 58 RBI
Connor Wong, C/IF, .304 BA, 5 HR, 30 RBI
Connor Hollis, IF, .294 BA, 0 HR, 16 RBI
Scoring runs was the problem last season, but that could change with the team’s top four hitters, in terms of batting average, returning. Sophomore Joe Davis is the player to watch. He easily led the Cougars with 14 homeruns and 58 RBIs last season. Corey Julks and Connor Wong are major threats to get on base and steal a few too. Houston will need some of their 21 newcomers to help in the rest of the lineup and provide some consistency at the plate, but they do have a very good group to build around. If all goes well, this is a team that can get back to the Super Regionals like they did in 2014. Even if things do not go perfectly, Houston has the talent behind a great pitching staff to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament
Madness 2017 Draft Rankings:
#49 Seth Romero