CLEARWATER, Fla. – The University of Houston makes its 36th conference tournament appearance all-time when it opens the TicketSmarter American Athletic Conference Baseball Championship against No. 6 seed Wichita State on Tuesday night from BayCare Ballpark.
Tuesday’s first pitch is set for 47 minutes following the conclusion of the 3 p.m. CT Game 3. The Cougars (34-22, 13-11 American) will be the No. 3 seed for the first time since 2014 when they captured the inaugural event with a 10-4 championship victory over Louisville.
Houston and Wichita State (21-34, 9-15 American) are meeting for the seventh time this season and second consecutive year in the tournament. The Cougars captured both series during the regular season. The Shockers outlasted Houston 5-3 in the 2021 American Championship.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Game 1: Live Stats • Live Audio • ESPN+
Houston Notes • Championship Central • Bracket
NEED TO KNOW
Houston’s 34-22 record is its best mark through the first 56 games since equaling the feat in 2018. That season, the Cougars won The American regular season and earned an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament (NCAA Chapel Hill Regional).
Houston has won six conference tournaments (1951, 1997, 2000, 2008, 2014, 2017) an has made 12 conference tournament championship game appearances (1951, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) including nine since 2000.
Houston’s current .983 fielding percentage would set a program record (.977 in 2000). The mark is fourth nationally and tied with East Carolina for tops in the league. It is also the second-best in American history, trailing only ECU’s .990 clip during the shortened 17-game 2020 season.
The winner between Houston-Wichita State will face the winner of No. 2-seed UCF and No. 7-seed Memphis on Thursday afternoon (47 minutes following the completion of the noon CT Game 1). The two losers will play an elimination game Wednesday afternoon (47 minutes following the completion of the 2 p.m. CT opener).
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