Former University of Houston pitcher among five UHV signees

July 29, 2010 at 2:29 a.m.

The University of Houston-Victoria baseball team improved the depth of its pitching staff with the signing of former University of Houston pitcher John Touchton and two freshman pitchers.

The pitchers were among five players to sign with the Jaguars for the 2011 season.

Pitchers Chance Marek of Rogers and Justin Cudd of Katy and infielders Ryan Suescun and Cory Hulsey of Cypress-Fairbanks will be members of UHV's first freshman class.

Touchton, a senior right-hander, pitched three seasons for the Cougars before sitting out the 2010 season. He compiled a 10-12 record with two saves. He pitched 126 innings and had 88 strikeouts.

Touchton is a graduate of Kingwood High School and was selected in the 35th round of the 2006 amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds.

"He throws in the low 90s and we're looking for him to battle for one of our starter roles," UHV head coach Terry Puhl said in a news release. "We're definitely happy to get him as he brings lots of experience."

Marek helped lead Rogers to the Class 2A state title by pitching a one-hitter with eight strikeouts in an 8-1 win over Bushland in the championship game.

He also pitched an inning of scoreless relief in the semifinal game and went 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored and a stolen base and was named the state tournament MVP.

Cudd was part of Katy's state playoff runs as a sophomore and a junior, and has also played for the Kyle Chapman select team in Houston.

"I'm really impressed with him," Puhl said. "He has a good fastball and a quality changeup for a freshman. He also has good rotation on his breaking ball but needs to learn to throw it for strikeouts."

Suescun and Hulsey played in the middle infield for Cy-Fair, which lost in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.

"Both are very young and their strengths are in their gloves at this time," Puhl said. "I was looking for those types of players to strengthen the middle and that's what they bring. But over time, both will become stronger and more complete players."

Puhl currently has 35 roster spots filled, including 14 freshmen.



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