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College Baseball Countdown: 64 Days to Go- Andrew Lantrip, Seth Romero

Andrew Lantrip - Photo by Don Miller - CBC

Andrew Lantrip - Photo by Don Miller - CBC

Houston is going to have some rebuilding to do ahead of next season. It will almost undoubtedly be the most significant turnover that head coach Todd Whitting has had to deal with in his time at Houston.

The Cougars had eight players taken in the most recent MLB Draft and all eight of them signed. That figure fails to take into account seniors like Aaron Garza, Jared Robinson, and David Longville, who weren’t drafted but were solid contributors over their time on campus, so the number of significant pieces that will be missing is somewhere nearing a dozen.

Over the long haul, there’s no reason to weep for Houston. The staff has continually recruited well and they will find players who can fill the voids, even if it takes some time for those players to develop. In the near-term, though, they will be able to lean on a pair of aces on the pitching staff, one who has already proven himself as a steadying influence in the rotation and the other just beginning to tap into his vast potential on the mound.

The former is junior right-hander Andrew Lantrip.

In his freshman season, he saw only spot duty on the mound for the first half of the season or so, but his role steadily increased, and by the time the postseason rolled around, he was considered an integral part of the staff. When it was all said and done, he had pitched in 14 games (starting 6), going 6-0 with a 1.87 ERA and an impressive 33/7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 43.1 innings.

Going into his sophomore campaign, he was expected to nail down a role at the front of the rotation, and he did just that, going 9-3 with a 2.62 ERA. In 113.1 innings of work, he struck out 115 and walked just 23. He was steady as could be all season, just what the Cougars needed.


Seth Romero - Photo Don Miller CBC

The latter pitcher is lefty Seth Romero, who is coming off of a freshman season that saw him do a little bit of everything. Given his electric stuff, he was a natural fit at the back of the bullpen, but as the team worked to find other viable starting pitching options after Jake Lemoine went down with an injury and Aaron Garza struggled to find consistency, Romero found himself doing some of that as well.

No matter the role, he proved to be incredibly hard to hit. He went 7-4 with a 1.94 ERA and 7 saves. Just as impressively, he struck out 92 and walked just 22 in 83.1 innings. That walk number is incredible if you’ve ever seen the guy pitch. All of his pitches move, and sometimes it seems like he’s not even quite sure where they’re going. All of that was enough to earn him a spot on Collegiate Team USA over the summer, putting him alongside the elite arms in college baseball.

Heading into 2016, these two will make quite the pair for Whitting and company. Just having them ready to go and pick up where they left off last season will be a huge step toward buying the team some time until new stars emerge and develop around them. Given how quickly the program has progressed in recent years, it’s just a matter of time before that happens.

To get caught up on our college baseball countdown, head on over to our index page here.

Joe Healy was first introduced to college baseball when he grew up watching the likes of Jeff Niemann, Philip Humber, and Wade Townsend pitch for Rice University. To say it was love at first sight would be an understatement. That love only grew as he went off to college at Sam Houston State University, where he practically lived at Don Sanders Stadium watching his Bearkats under the direction of the legendary Mark Johnson. He holds a B.A. in political science from SHSU and is working toward his Masters in Public Administration from SIU-Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Illinois.