2019 Fall Report: Houston • D1Baseball

Man, I wish I could post the whole article. Basically, be excited about our pitching staff this year because it’s deep and good. Says Cherry, Henry, and Looney are battling it out for the closer role. Henry could also start.

The Cougars showcased several lesser known arms in this week’s scrimmage against San Jacinto (Texas) College, as pitching coach Terry Rooney continues to take it slow with several of his more prized arms, including guys like Lael Lockhart and Clay Aguilar , who are destined to be in the weekend rotation. Lockhart has taken a big step forward in all phases of the game and looks to be a high-quality starter in 2020. Lockhart is a physical lefty who will sit in the mid-to-upper 80s with his fastball, along with a quality changeup, while Aguilar, a 6-foot-1, 190-pounder, does a terrific job of pounding the bottom half of the zone with sinking fastballs, along with a quality secondary mix. Aguilar raised some eyebrows last season when he shut down East Carolina, which had one of college baseball’s premier offensive lineups last season. Those two give the Coogs a strong one-two punch. Speaking of Lockhart, he’ll occupy the DH role for the Cougars yet again, and Whitting said he’s been even better than before offensively this fall.

“I think it’ll be Lockhart and Aguilar on Friday and Saturday, just like last season,” he said. “Lockhart will be as good of a starter as anyone in our league, and Aguilar has some tremendous run on his fastball. When he’s locating his pitches, he’s really good.”

• The third spot in the rotation is still up for grabs, but you get the feeling the Cougars would like to see senior righthander Sean Bretz assume that role. Bretz has an imposing 6-foot-6, 230-pound frame, and has a big-time fastball into the mid-90s. However, the development of his secondary stuff this fall is the big story with him, showing a much-improved changeup and a sharper slider with more depth. Bretz could give the Cougars a massive weapon as it looks to lock up series wins on Sundays.

“Bretz decided to turn down money in the draft to come back, and I get the feeling he did that because he wanted to development under TR (Terry Rooney) one more year,” Whitting said. “His secondary stuff has gotten a lot better, and that’s something he and Terry have really worked hard on this fall. His return is really big for us.”


How about the line-up… We got several highly touted Jucos and some freshmen coming in. Plus returnees who will only get better. Omaha is a real possibility this year and I never said that before.

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We lose Davis and Triolo, which hurts bad since they were our only two consistent hitters last year. However, we have a lot returning as well as the JUCOs you mentioned.

Last year, offense was the reason we didn’t make the tourney so we’ll see if we can get better.