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July 3, 2014

Local prospect riding minor league roller coaster

LOCUST GROVE, OK — Former Locust Grove right-hander Adrian Houser is experiencing the ups and downs of trying to achieve his dream of playing Major League Baseball.

After an impressive month of May which Houser posted a 1.64 ERA for Houston’s Low-A affiliate, the Quad Cities River Bandits, the Astro prospect's ERA has now jumped to 3.98 after a cold June.

“I don’t feel too good about my performances this month. It definitely could have been better, but that’s why I’m still in the minor leagues, to get to where I can have consistent outings every time. Just have to keep working,” Houser said.

Through three months of his second full season as minor league prospect, Houser’s numbers have changed like the weather in his home state. The former high school standout began his season with average numbers, but found himself on a tear in May after capturing his first victory on the mound since 2012.

Houser simmered down in his first appearance of June as reliever, which he gave up two runs in three innings pitched. After his relief appearance June 1, Houser didn’t see the mound again until eleven days later after the All-Star break.

The prospect absorbed his second loss of the season after a short two-run outing in 2 1/3 innings. Houser bounced back in his next outing as reliever, throwing four shutout innings, but bobbled his last start, giving up five runs in five innings off of eight hits.

“Just have to roll with the ups and downs and take them as they come. You can’t get too high or too low in this game. Just have to keep working hard and try to limit the downs,” said Houser. “It really takes a toll on you. This game really wears on you. Definitely challenges your mental toughness. Just have to grind through it.”

Houser has already found a way to keep his head up when experiencing a rough skid.

“I think I just use my goal to get to the big leagues to help me get through the tough times. That’s what ultimately drives me,” Houser said.

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