Houston dismissed lefthanderSeth Romero
from the program, coach Todd Whitting announced Wednesday, ending the junior’s tumultuous season. Romero, a Preseason All-American
, began the season as Houston’s Opening Day starter. After seven strong starts, he was suspended indefinitely from the team April 9
for a violation of university and athletic department policy. He was reinstated May 1
and made three appearances out of the bullpen last week. Another incident Tuesday, separate from his previous trouble, led to his dismissal. “I appreciate (athletic director) Hunter Yurachek’s support of my decision for our program to move forward without Seth,” Whitting said in a statement. “We wish Seth and his family the best of luck as he embarks on the next phase of his life and baseball career. We are fully focused on our remaining schedule and current members of our program.” Romero went 4-5, 3.51 in 10 appearances this season. He struck out 85 batters and walked 20 in 48.2 innings and leads the nation in strikeouts per nine innings (15.72). He had risen on draft boards this spring, pushing into contention to be taken in the top 10 picks before his suspension. Romero was also suspended from the team as a sophomore. He was suspended for the first two weeks of last season for conduct detrimental to the team. He returned form that ban to go 6-4, 2.29 with 113 strikeouts and 28 walks in 94.1 innings. Houston will now move on without Romero. The Cougars (31-17, 11-7) are a game behind No. 23 South Florida for first place in the American Athletic Conference. Houston travels to Tulane this weekend before finishing the regular season at home against Cincinnati next week. When Romero was suspended, sophomore Trey Cumbie (7-1, 2.41) moved from midweek starter to the weekend rotation. The lefthander has been effective in the role, but the Cougars are 1-5 in midweek games since Romero’s first ban.