Cougars Get Huge Series Sweep over ECU

The UH Cougar baseball team just keep rolling along. After a series sweep of the ECU Pirates this past weekend at Cougar Field, they pushed their overall record to 21-4 and got themselves off to a 3-0 start in conference play.

In my series preview, I talked about how this didn't appear to be a vintage ECU team, but they are still pretty good. Sweeping them is a big accomplishment.

To fully recap the weekend that was, let's take a look at three up and three down from the series.

Three Up:

-          The offense came out and jumped on ECU starter Jeff Hoffman early on Friday night. Hoffman is the Pirates' best starter and UH head coach Todd Whitting admitted that his was probably the best arm UH has faced this season. The onslaught of hits and runs forced ECU to go the bullpen earlier than they would have hoped and set up the Cougars for success the rest of the weekend.

-          The starting pitching was stellar all weekend. On Friday night, Daniel Poncedeleon struggled with command at times, but outside of a couple of minor blips, he was unhittable. On Saturday, Austin Pruitt did what Austin Pruitt does. He threw eight innings, striking out 13 and only walking one. On Sunday, Jake Lemoine showed again that he has really taken to his starting role nicely. This weekend, he threw 6.2 innings, giving up two earned runs. I'm betting coach Whitting will take that every single week.

-          The fight the team showed on Sunday to come back and tie the game in the ninth to force extra innings and then to come back and win it in the tenth was impressive. It would have been easy for this young team to be content with a series win and go away quietly in the Sunday game, but they didn't do that. They showed a lot of fight and that will serve them well later in the season.

Three Down:

-          I think Whitting might have made a misstep in trying to let Pruitt finish off the game on Saturday. Ultimately, it didn't cost the team anything, but it nearly did. If this had been a Sunday game and the bullpen had been taxed in the two games prior, I might have understood, but Whitting had nearly the entire bullpen to work with. Again, I'm nitpicking here, but I think that was a bit of an unnecessary risk.

-          The umpiring was a bit shaky on Sunday. Maybe I'm just hyper-sensitive on the subject after all the umpiring snafus this past Tuesday against UT, though. But again, kudos to the team for overcoming all of these things and sweeping the series.

-          Honestly, I don't know that I have anything else to nitpick about from this past weekend. That's how well things went overall. I guess if I were to open up the floor to absolutely anything, I would say that the wind on Sunday was a real pain. It was a beautiful day outside, but the wind actually made it kind of chilly if you weren't in direct sunlight.

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