HOUSTON, TX —
It’s a day where the past embraces the future as former UH Cougars’ baseball players face the current roster of Coogs on fan appreciation day.
UH baseball fan Robert McMillan says, “It’s fun to see them come back, particularly those of us who have done a few years of watching. Jesse Crain is here who is with the Astros now. We used to watch him play shortstop and come in in relief.”
Former UH pitcher Brad Lincoln, now a Philadelphia Phillie, says, “It’s one of those things that I look forward to every year. To come back and have a little camaraderie with these guys I used to play with, and just catch up on their stories and what they’re doing in their lives today.”
Lincoln would not play in this game, but he would watch from the dugout and cheer on his team mates. Though for him, there was not much to root for as the current Cougars showed why there are high hopes for them this season. The current Cougars would tally four runs in the first inning, but on this day, it’s not about winning, it’s about recognizing where the baseball program is at.
Current Houston Astros pitcher Jesse Crain called Cougar Field home in 2002 and says, “Gives the young guys an excitement to see that this is a tradition and they can come back when they’re done playing and be a part of it. Hopefully it’s still a growing product and I think (UH head baseball coach) Todd Whitting has done a great job in putting it that way.”
Houston has not played in the NCAA Regionals since 2008, but after last season’s 36 wins, there are hopes for a trip to Omaha for the College World Series. A place where only the 1953 and 1967 squads have gone before. If this year’s team can add their name to that list, next year’s alumni game will have a little more to talk about.