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April Baseball Blog

Apr 15, 2017 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 9:12 pm | Updated: April 20, 2017 4:59 pm | Permalink
ESPNU TELEVISING AGAIN: It was released a couple days ago that BYU's game at Gonzaga will be televised by ESPNU/WatchESPN, Saturday, May 20, 7:30 p.m. PT. ESPNU televised the BYU-Santa Clara game last year in Provo.
 
UPCOMING GRADUATIONS: Graduating this month from BYU are: pitcher Brady Corless in family life and current graduate assistant/former shortstop Hayden Nielsen in exercise and wellness. Players hopeful of a June graduation are Keaton Cenatiempo in exercise and wellness, Tanner Chauncey in statistics and Bronson Larsen in exercise and wellness.
 
NOMINATED FOR CoSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT: Brock Hale 3.47 cumulative grade point average, majoring in pre-business; Bo Burrup 3.44 GPA, majoring in pre-communications; and Nate Favero  3.33 GPA, majoring in political science have been nominated for the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District team.
 
BASEBALL COLLECTION: Pitching coach Jeremy Thomas added five baseballs from teams representing five new conferences who had games with BYU this school year: Michigan State with the Big 10, Georgia Tech with the ACC, Kennesaw State with the Big South Conference, Georgia State with the Sun Belt Conference, and Connecticut with the American Athletic Conference. Coach Thomas now has 28 baseballs in that collection, including a couple College World Series baseballs.
 
WALK-UP MUSIC: Here are the names of walkup songs (the non-R rated segments) for several of the BYU Cougars:</p>
Ronnie Adair – Tell the World – Lecrae
Brennon Anderson – Pull the Trigger – Russ
Jackson Bishop – I’d Love to Change – Jetta
Maverik Buffo – Ladies and Gentlemen – Saliva
Bo Burrup – Seven Nation Army – White Stripes
Matt Bushman – So Fresh – Outkast
Keaton Cenatiempo – Double Double Trouble – MIA
Tanner Chauncey – Power – Kanye West
David Clawson – The Pretender – Foo Fighters
Aaron Cross – Don’t Let Me Down – Chainsmokers
Kyle Dean – Come With Now – Kongos
Matt Favero – She Cranks – Dustin Lynch
Nate Favero – Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson
Riley Gates – Right Now – Van Halen
Brock Hale – The Movement – Kid Ink
Noah Hill – Sucker for Pain – Lil Wayne
Brian Hsu – Get Stupid – Mac Dre
Casey Jacobsen – Fitzpleasure – Alt-J
Mackay Jacobsen – Levels – Aviici
Keaton Kringlen – Work – Rihanna, Bad Royale remix
Bronson Larsen - Imperial March – Star Wars
Mason Marshall – Want It All – Queen
Kendall Motes – I Can’t Stop – Flux Pavilion
Pete Nielsen – Flower – Moby
Rhett Parkinson – As Good as I Once Was – Toby Keith
Hayden Rogers – Here Comes the Hotstepper – Ini Kamoze
Daniel Schneemann – My Name Is – Eminem
Colton Shaver – King Kong – Jibs
Connor Williams – My Life Be Like – Grits
Jordan Wood – Come and Get Your Love – Redbone
 
SPRING SPROUTS: Or this could be called #mustachemafia Part II. Relief pitchers Mason Marshall and Rhett Parkinson started their mustaches a couple weeks ago and the Cougars have gone 10-2 in that period.The fad may be gaining momentum again.
 
SUMMER ASSIGNMENTS: In addition to the summer assignments mentioned in our March blog, Cam Richins will be playing for the Chico Heat in Chico, California, where Keaton Kringlen and Daniel Schneemann played last summer.
 
PRO ASSIGNMENTS: Here is what we've learned of pro assignments of former Cougar baseball players for this month after the completion of spring training:
Jaycob Brugman –AAA Nashville Sounds in Tennessee
Taylor Cole –AAA Buffalo Bisons in New York
Jacob Hannemann –AAA Iowa Cubs in Des Moines
Adam Law –AA-Arkansas Travelers with Marcus Littlewood and in Little Rock
Brennon Lund –A ball in Burlington, Iowa
Kolton Mahoney –Low A Charleston Riverdogs in South Carolina
Adam Mille –Still rehabbing at the Diamondbacks Facility in Arizona
Mike Rucker –Low A South Bend Cubs in Indiana
 
BROCK HALE TIME OFF: Because of a knee strain suffered in the Oregon game the first part of this month, BYU's leading hitter Brock Hale had time to work on other statistics.While the Cougars were at the Pacific series, Hale remained behind to continue rehabbing his knee and spent added time in a mathematics lab at BYU studying for a test in in Math 118 and got a pleasing test score.
 
IMPENDING DOOM: Check out this notation of "Impending doom" in this link pointed out by the astute eye of David Richey from Ogden, whether it be the intended comment about the rainy weather at game one at Pacific earlier this month or the prediction of Maverik Buffo's 6-0 shutout thanks to Bronson Larsen's grand slam: http://byucougars.com/node/116517/#ui-tabs-1
 
FORGOT IN FEBRUARY TO MENTION: "I'm really impressed with BYU. I felt like every pitcher that they ran out there was good, their left side of the infield made some really good plays and up and down their lineup they can really hit," said Coach Danny Hall of Georgia Tech.http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/021717aac.html
 
FLASHING LEATHER: Here are two scriptures referenced on BYU players' gloves: 1) on Pete Nielsen's glove is Isaiah 12:2--Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.; and 2) on one of the gloves used by Noah Hill is James 1:12--Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Hill also has initials representing an acronym from his high school team: FBL, enscribed on the same glove and written inside his ball cap. And then there's this emblazoned in Spanish on Brennon Anderson's glove: La Leyenda (meaning "The Legend")

March Baseball Blog

Mar 20, 2017 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 1:10 pm | Permalink

FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS:  Thanks to Tuckett Slade, director of BYU baseball operations, the Cougars have the ability to stream on Facebook Live when no other live video is available.  Consequently, Facebook audiences for BYU’s games at Georgia State, and at Stockton and Bakersfield, California have tuned in to watch from far away places.  Among those locales are New Zealand; Magrath, Alberta, Canada; Florida; Iowa; Cleveland and Las Vegas; Great Falls, Virginia; Whitehall, Arkansas; Tucson, Arizona; Barstow and Canyon Country, California; Beaver and Tooele, Utah; and Nederland, Texas.  That true Cougar fan in Texas was Michael Zimmerman, who had his TV tuned to BYUtv to watch the women’s basketball game against Washington State in the WNIT while viewing Facebook for BYU baseball’s 7-6 win over UConn.

CALLING ON COLUMBIA:  The parents of Keaton Cenatiempo were in Georgia for the Cougars’ games in the Atlanta Challenge.  During the Sunday break, Keaton drove with his parents to Columbia, South Carolina, where his father served years ago as a missionary.

MORE VISITORS:  While in Stockton, California for the games against San Jose State and Northern Colorado, Cougars Keaton Kringlen and Daniel Scheemann had a special visitor.  Their coach from Chico, California, where they played summer ball drove down to watch them play. When the Cougars had their first outdoor preseason practice of the year at St. George, several of Kringlen’s friends and family drove down from Cedar City.

FOOTBALL-BASEBALL CONNECTION:  Fans may remember Jacob Hannemann, now on the 40-man roster for the Chicago Cubs as is Jaycob Brugman with the Oakland A’s.  Hannemann was a defensive back, like his brother Micah, for BYU football.  Jacob Hannemann donated his Rawlings glove to the Cougars and it is now in use by another BYU gridder who doubles with the baseball team—Matt Bushman.  Bushman’s glove had yet to arrive, so he has been using Hannemann’s mitt on the diamond and does morning workouts with BYU football as a tight end.

ENGAGED COUGARS: Catcher Bronson Larsen is engaged with plans to be married this summer.  Last month outfielder Keaton Kringlen got engaged to former BYU volleyball player Makenna Santiago, daughter of former Cougar cager Mark, with plans also to be married this summer.

SUMMER ASSIGNMENTS: Some summer ball assignments are known for Cougars: Kyle Dean to the Wareham Gatemen, the same club Colton Shaver played for last summer in the Cape Cod League and Daniel Schneemann and redshirt pitcher Kenny Saenz for the St. Cloud Rox Baseball Club in Minnesota.

PULLINS BACK IN ACTION:  Former BYU coach Gary Pullins, who moved from Port Orford, Oregon to Chappell Hill, Texas near Austin, made a brief stop in Provo en route to Idaho Falls for a family gathering.  While in Provo, Pullins was micside as a color analyst with Brent Norton.  Pullins is scheduled to be with Norton again the first part of May in Santa Clara, California, when he joins his former BYU baseball coach Glen Tuckett and Dr. Tom Fife, a former Cougar teammate, when the threesome convenes in a yearly gathering.

February Baseball Blog

Feb 16, 2017 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 9:17 am | Permalink

ATLANTA CHALLENGE LIVE LINKS: Georgia Tech will have  a one-camera setup for a broadcast on the ACC Network Extra (ESPN3).  Kennesaw State will have online streaming , but won't have a play-by-play announcer for the game due to a basketball doubleheader, but will have audio and a crowd mic. See our schedule page for those links: http://byucougars.com/schedule/m-baseball

RARELY FRIDAY:  Baseball America wrote how BYU will miss “electric Friday starter Michael Rucker.” Yes, Rucker will be missed, but his electricity rarely conducted on a Friday.  BYU plays Thursday, Friday and Saturday series, never on a Sunday.  Rucker pitched twice last year on a Friday: in the season opener vs. Saint Louis and in the opening upset over No. 25 Creighton.  The All-American Rucker, who signed with the Chicago Cubs with a year of eligibility remaining, had 13 Thursday appearances and one Monday appearance en route to his 11-1 record.

GAME NOTES:  More detailed information on the team is posted through a multi-page PDF attached to our weekly game advances.  Those notes include preseason honors, a listing of former Cougar players from Georgia , etc.  Here’s the link for the season-opening game notes: http://byucougars.com/files/byu_in_atlanta_challenge_0.pdf

FIELD OF 64:  Baseball America also listed BYU among its projected field of 64 as a No. 3 seed at the Charlottesville, Virginia regional as the league champion.  It also listed WCC foe Gonzaga as a No. 3 seed at the Corvallis, Oregon regional and Cougar opponents UC Santa Barbara as a No. 2 seed at Corvallis; and Georgia Tech as a No. 2 seed at the Lafayette, Louisiana Regional.

SHAVER PRESEASON HONORS: Colton Shaver is one of 55 on the Golden Spikes Preseason watch list, see link at http://bit.ly/2lPMeQy. Shaver was also listed as a Preseason All-American by The Sporting News.

ATTENDING FIRST PITCH DINNER:  Among the former BYU baseball players who attended last month’s fourth-annual First Pitch Dinner were:  Tim Anderson, Cortland Andrews, Bryce Ayoso, Mike Bergeron, Jeff Bills, Casey Cloward, Paul Cluff, Taylor Cole, Gary Cooper, Cameron Coughlan, Tyler Dabo, David Decker, Ryan Freeman, Rusty Gray, Jacob Hannemann, Matt Hutchings, Paul Jacinto, Wally Joyner, Adam Law, Mike Littlewood, Blair Lucas, Hayden Nielsen, Tyler Perry, Bryce Searle, Mark Smith, Jeremy Thomas, Eric Urry, Brock Whitney, Brad Winget, Alex Wolfe and former coaches Glen Tuckett and Vernon Law.

MORE ON FIRST PITCH DINNER:  A Georgia anecdote was revealed at the end of the First Pitch Dinner by Wally Joyner about keynote speaker Dale Murphy.  Cougar alum and All-American Joyner told of growing up in Georgia and getting prime seats at the struggling Atlanta Braves’ games. Murphy was a hero of his whom he met once before the next encounter on I-285.  The then-teenage Joyner was delivering ice, trying to keep a truck with bad alignment in the lines and noticed a car behind him.  Soon the car pulled up beside Joyner and he noticed it was Murphy, waving out the window at the teenager he remembered.

NATIONAL HONOR FOR ZOBELL:  Yours truly was selected as the 42nd winner of the annual Wilbur Snypp Award for contributions to college baseball.  @RalphZobell tweeted:  “Scores of colleagues, interns, #BYUbaseball players, coaches & family helped with nat'l honor. Thank you. #GoCougs http://www.sportswriters.net/ncbwa/news/2017/snypp170209.html … pic.twitter.com/CjoNakwo8j” Official presentation of the award is scheduled for opening day of the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska on June 17, so let’s root for the Cougars to be there as one of the team qualifiers.  Former BYU coaches Gary Pullins and Glen Tuckett are scheduled to be in Omaha again for their yearly American Baseball Coaches Association meetings.

January Baseball Blog

Jan 17, 2017 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 4:03 pm | Updated: February 1, 2017 2:21 pm | Permalink

BUSY JANUARY: Starting with school work, practice and the fourth annual First Pitch Dinner on Jan. 27 featuring Dale Murphy, the Cougars are readying for the 2017 season.

LITTLEWOOD INDUCTION: Congratulations are in order for Coach Mike Littlewood who is one of five persons to be inducted on Jan. 28 into the Dixie State Athletic Hall of Fame.

COUGARS IN ST. GEORGE: BYU’s baseball team is working out this month at the BYU Indoor Practice Facility. Full team practices start Jan. 28. The Cougars travel to St. George on Feb. 3-4 and 10-11 to get practice in outdoor conditions.

READY FOR SPECIAL YEAR: All the Cougars are eligible and posted a team GPA of 3.0 last semester, according to Coach Littlewood. “Every single inning we can score,” Littlewood told Cougar Clubbers at their January luncheon in Provo. “If pitching goes the right way, we could have a special year. We have 10 proven guys who can pitch.

SHOW UP: That’s the theme for this year’s BYU baseball team, some of whom have a chance to eventually make it to “The Show.” BYU basketball coach Dave Rose, himself a baseball aficionado whose bucket list includes going to every Major League Park (he has 20 to his credit so far), told Cougar Clubbers after Littlewood preceded him at this month’s luncheon that show up is what he teaches his cagers, to “be counted on, do what you say you’re going to do.”

NEW ROYAL TOPS: BYU baseball will have a new look with its Royal-colored uniform top emblazoned with the word COUGARS across the front and matching cap with what is known as the “Vintage BYU logo,” the Cougar wearing a sailor hat. This Royal look will be worn mainly at home games and is what the team wore at this month's green screen shots for BYUtv.

CHAUNCEY AT HARPER WEDDING: Tanner Chauncey, a Las Vegas boyhood friend of Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, attended last month’s wedding of Harper to former BYU soccer player Kayla Varner in San Diego. After the wedding in the San Diego Temple, the Chaunceys were at the table during the reception with Stephen Strasburg. Other MLB players at the reception included Trea Turner, Tyler Clippard, Joey Gallo and Kris Bryant.

WEDDED BLISS: Pitcher Brady Corless got married to Ashlee Nyborg earlier this month. Other married players on the team include: Keaton Cenatiempo, Tanner Chauncey, Brock Hale, Mason Marshall, Kendall MotesRhett Parkinson, Hayden Rogers, Connor Williams and Jordan Wood.

COACHES CONVENE: Assistant coaches Trent Pratt, Brent Haring and director of baseball operations Tuckett Slade attended the American Association of Baseball Coaches Convention in Anaheim, California the beginning of January.

HAYDEN NIELSEN LONGEVITY: Joining the BYU coaching staff as a graduate assistant is former BYU shortstop Hayden Nielsen. Nielsen started the past 213 games as the Cougar shortstop.

CARRIBEAN PART DEUX: Keaton Kringlen returned to the Caribbean for the second time in as many months at the end of 2016. Kringlen was part of the team’s Thanksgiving break tour to Curacao. During the Christmas holidays, the sophomore slugger traveled to Puerto Rico with the family of his girlfriend Makenna Santiago, who just finished her eligibility with BYU’s women’s volleyball team.

THE VULCAN: Coach Littlewood spoke at January’s Cougar Club luncheon in Provo and showed the Star Trek Vulcan sign with his hand to demonstrate how JC transfer left-handed pitcher Aaron Cross throws his “filthy Vulcan change up.”

October baseball blog

Oct 03, 2016 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 12:18 pm | Updated: March 20, 2017 9:08 pm | Permalink

UPCOMING SCRIMMAGES:  On Saturday, Oct. 8, BYU has a 14-inning (yes, 14 innings) baseball exhibition at 10 a.m. ET at Michigan State’s at McLane Stadium, and the Cougar football team plays MSU at 3:30 p.m. ET. Fans can listen live to the play-by-play of the BYU-MSU baseball scrimmage through this link.

On Friday, Oct. 14 at 4 p.m., it will be the annual Blue/White game at Miller Park. On Thursday, Oct. 27, BYU will have a scrimmage with Salt Lake Community College.

GOLF OUTING:  More than 50 former BYU baseball players participated in last month’s annual golf tournament at TalonsCove Golf Course in Saratoga Springs prior to having an alumni game and attending the UCLA-BYU football game. The foursome of Todd & Tyson Rogers, Perry Bronson and Kendrick Martinez won the scramble.

GOLF STORIES: Here are some stories picked up prior to players’ foursomes teeing off at TalonsCove.  Former catcher Lars Birkland was joined by his brother Brett, who ran track for BYU from 2009-2010. Former catcher/DH Michael Davies retired just shy of 20 years with the U.S. Department of Defense where he learned Korean and Chinese. Davies, who interned with BYU Athletic Media Relations, now has more hair in his beard than he had on his head as a player. 

MORE GOLF STORIES: Former KSL-TV news anchor and BYU pitcher Scott Haws uses his talents now to pitch multimillion dollar homes for Narr8media.  Former All-American outfielder Ben Saylor still teaches hitting lessons and sells educational tools called Tales4Teaching. Former relief pitcher J.D. Stambaugh flew in from Memphis, Tennessee, where he is a financial planner for Raymond James & Associates and attended last year’s BYU baseball series at Samford in Alabama.

BROADCASTER BRENT: Brent Norton says he plans to do BYU radio play-by-play broadcasts for his 25th year, including some games from the UC Santa Barbara series and the recently announced Oregon game in Provo. Norton also adds the recent golf scramble had a “nice touch,” where he was paired with Spencer Linton, the BYUtv voice of Cougar baseball and long-time BYU baseball player Jeff Bills and his coach Glen Tuckett, who combined for 13-under, but “out of the money.”

ALUMNI GAME: There were enough former players on hand to field teams for an alumni game, which was won 3-1 thanks to a two-run homer by Brock Whitney. Among those who played in that alumni game were pitchers Mark Anderson, Paul Jacinto, Anthony Bingham and Brandon Kinser (who touched 89 mph), who paid the price the next day for throwing so many pitches. Also playing in that game were former players Kevin Bills, Brandon Taylor, Kory Knell, Ryan Chambers, Lars Birkland, Michel Bergeron and Jake Stubblefield.

MARRIED LAST SUMMER:  Five current Cougars got married over the summer: Tanner Chauncey, Brock Hale, Mason Marshall, Kendall Motes and Jordan Wood.

DATE SET FOR JANUARY BANQUET: Make plans to attend the Annual First Pitch Dinner on Jan. 27 (Friday) at the NuSkin Building.

DIPLOMA: Assistant Coach Brent Haring spoke last month at the Pleasant Grove High School Seminary FEAST (“friends eating and sharing testimonies”).  At the beginning of his remarks, he mentioned one of his regrets was that he did not graduate from Seminary.  Haring got surprised when former BYU pitcher Marc Oslund, who teaches at that Seminary, presented him with a diploma signed by Oslund.

May Baseball Blog

May 05, 2016 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 2:24 pm | Updated: May 6, 2016 7:59 pm | Permalink

MORE MISSIONARY NEWS:  Easton Walker received his mission call to Cusco, Peru, joining Bryan Call who has his call to Taiwan and Jackson Cluff who has his call to Atlanta, Ga.

ANOTHER ENGAGED PLAYER:  Brock Hale is the latest Cougar engaged to be married this summer.

SOUTHERN BBQ:  An item from last February is that the father's of Noah Hill and Casey Jacobsen drove to Birmingham, Alabama, pulling a BBQ smoker and prepared brisket, pork and ribs for the Cougars after one of their games against Samford.

WALK-UP MUSIC:  Here's the names of walkup songs (the non-R rated segments) for several of the BYU Cougars:

ESPNU ANNOUNCER:  The play-by-play announcer for the May 21 game on ESPNU against Santa Clara is expected to be Mike Couzens. Couzens was a play-by-play broadcaster for the Big Ten Network and also served as the broadcasting and media relations manager for the Fort Wayne TinCaps, the Single-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.  The color analyst is yet to be named.

CENATIEMPO & FATHER:  Keaton Cenatiempo says he and his father Kris, who played baseball at Washington State in 1986, have competed on seven of the same college fields.  They are BYU, Pepperdine, Gonzaga, Cal Poly Pomona, San Diego State, Portland and Cal State Northridge.

SUMMER BALL ASSIGNMENTS:  Here are the summer ball assignments for some of the Cougars once they finish with the work at hand this season:  

WRISTBANDS FOR RILEY:  Actually the Cougars started wearing orange wristbands and writing the initials K.G. on their hats in support of  Kennadi, the 10-year-old sister of pitcher Riley Gates who was diagnosed last month with leukemia. The players and coaches also have the initials K.G. on their hats.

SANS STACHES:  Following the series losses at Saint Mary's and against Creighton all of the Cougars shaved their mustaches, but say #mustachemafia will return when they get an NCAA Regional bid.

April Baseball Blog

Apr 07, 2016 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 11:10 am | Permalink

CONGRATULATIONS: Trent Pratt was named assistant coach of the year at the Y Awards last month.

MISSIONARY NEWS: Jackson Cluff received his mission call to Atlanta, Georgia, reporting to the MTC the day after the College World Series ; Bryan Call has his mission papers in process. Word is Danny Gelalich and Easton Walker may soon be processing missionary papers.

ENGAGED: Tanner Chauncey, Grant Hodges, Mason Marshall, Rhett Parkinson and Jordan Wood all are engaged to be married this summer after the season ends.

MARRIED PLAYERS: There are six married players on the team: Keaton Cenatiempo, Hayden Nielsen, Hayden Rogers, Mike Rucker, Eric Urry, and Connor Williams all of whom wear a silicon wedding ring on game days, as do the BYU coaches. The flexible silicon ring is more comfortable to wear under gloves and when hitting than the regular gold band.

SPECIAL VISIT IN PORTLAND: Some of the BYU entourage made a trip to the home Nike Employee Store in Portland for extra gear.

HELPING CHILDREN: At Primary Children's Hospital, five players went to Salt Lake City: Casey Jacobsen, Noah Hill, Jordan Wood, Rhett Parkinson and Jackson Cluff. Coaches Brent Haring and Mike Littlewood, along with Scott VanPelt from NuSkin also participated. They played bingo with 100 other patients on closed-circuit TV along with five patients in person, to whom they told jokes and sang songs.

COUGARS IN PRO RANKS: Former Cougars have now received their pro assignments: Jaycob Brugman AA Midland, Texas (Oakland A's); Jacob Hannemann to the AA Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs); Taylor Cole AA rehabbing injured shoulder (Toronto Blue Jays); Adam Miller AA Mobile, Alabama (Arizona Diamonbacks); Kolton Mahoney staying in Tampa Bay for extended spring training (New York Yankees); Adam Law AA Tulsa, Oklahoma (Los Angeles Dodgers); Jeremy Guthrie AAA El Paso Texas (San Diego Padres) and Coach Littlewood's son Marcus to AA in Jackson, Tennessee (Seattle Mariners).

WHAT IS A FIRESIDE: A color analyst asked in preparation for TheW.tv video stream of BYU's Friday game at Portland, "What is a fireside?," after he read about a fireside the Cougars held in Alabama. So we sent him the following response: A fireside is generally an evening meeting not in the traditional three meetings on Sunday with our faith. Sometimes they are held on mornings as part of the weekday seminary program before regular school begins. Usually a fireside is held on a Sunday night and is a meeting for the youth. No fire is present, but the term probably evolved from meeting in someone's home with a fireplace. They can be as large as a Sunday gathering in the 18,987-seat Marriott Center where we play basketball. Or they can be at any Mormon meetinghouse, sometimes referred to as a stake center (not steak, rather like a stake holding down a tent). Former BYU baseball coach Glen Tuckett adds the term fireside perhaps got its origin from U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Fireside Chats.

WHAT IS AN RM? Players not of the Mormon faith learn quickly about LDS (Latter-day Saint) terms like FHE (Family Home Evening) and RM (returned missionary). However, some reporters and broadcasters recently have made mistakes referring to Cougars Brennon Lund and Colton Shaver as returned missionaries. Both are RM's, but you decide what the "M" should stand for, returning monster…?

URRY's GRANDFATHER IN COLLEGE WORLD SERIES: Eric Urry's grandfather Herb Urry played for the 1951 University of Utah baseball team that was 2-2 in the College World Series. Herb, who passed away last year, was a left-handed pitcher for the Utes. Urry's father found several copies of a 1951 notebook that had been prepared celebrating that event and shared copies with us.

PALYMRA, N.Y.: Niagara’s head coach was mystified along with his team about what a BYU radio announcer said regarding the hometown of the New York-based team pitcher hailing from Palmyra, “this was probably the only stadium (Miller Park) in the country where fans know exactly where Palmyra is and over half of them have been there.”

March Baseball Blog

Mar 10, 2016 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 3:45 pm | Updated: March 10, 2016 5:13 pm | Permalink
APRIL GRADUATION: Senior outfielder Eric Urry is graduating in psychology and team manager Brett Adams is graduating in with his master's in public administration this April season, 15-16. Former BYU baseball players also graduating in April include Andy Isom, Jarrett Jarvis, Derek Speigner and Parker Starr.
 
HOSPITAL VISITS:  On the morning of March 23, members of BYU's baseball team will be at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City reading to patients. Earlier this month a dozen of BYU's team joined the coaching staff on a visit to the Primary Children's Unit at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
 
ALABAMA FIRESIDE:  Urry, Hayden Nielsen and Mike Rucker spoke at the team's fireside last month in Birmingham, Alabama.
 
GLOVES WITH FLAGS:  The Lone Star flag of Texas adorns the gloves of pitcher Triston Busse and infielder/catcher Noah Hill.  On Urry's glove is flag symbol of the Dominican Republic where he served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On the glove of pitcher Mason Marshall is a replica of the flag of the Philippines where he served his mission. 
 
CHAUNCEY IN ESPN MAGAZINE: You can attribute a couple stories in this month's issue of ESPN Magazine about Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals to BYU's Tanner Chauncey who grew up with Harper.  Click on this link.
 
MATCH NICKNAMES: Can you match the nicknames of Mantis, Giraffe, Baby Rhino and Chief to the following BYU players? Marshall, Keaton Cenatiempo, Hayden Rogers and Nielsen.
 
BUFFALO BUFFO: Maverik Buffo rides a big Honda motorcycle when he isn't going to class or pitching baseballs. A closer look at his cycle shows a flattened Buffalo-head nickel coin as a fastener/clasp on the pouch atop the gas tank.  That Buffalo-head nickel was already installed on the motorcycle before he bought it.
 
MUSTACHES:  Several of BYU's team have been sporting mustaches. One player who started out doing so was Colton Shaver, but "Shave" shaved it off in Las Vegas last month when he went hitless in a game against Saint Louis and remains clean shaven now that his bat has come alive.
 
MORE MUSTACHES: More players are joining the mustache ranks on the team as part of the #mustachemafia hashtag on Twitter.  The word is those sporting the hairy upper lip won't shave them off until the Cougars lose a weekend series.

February Baseball Blog

Feb 23, 2016 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 1:58 am | Updated: February 23, 2016 4:35 pm | Permalink
FEBRUARY FIRESIDE: The entire BYU baseball team will participate in a Fireside on February 27 at 6 p.m., in Alabama at the Birmingham Stake Center at 2780 Altadena Road Birmingham, Alabama 35243
 
TEAM MUSTACHES:  You may not be able to see some of the mustaches trying to be sported by members of BYU's baseball team.  Many of the team decided to grow the mustaches as part of team unification.
 
GRANDSON NUMBER ONE:  Coach Mike Littlewood recently welcomed the addition of Rory, grandson number one (grandchild No. 3) as the coach flew home from Las Vegas to get a little more time with the new arrival before the Cougars flew to Alabama.
 
CHAUNCEY & BRYCE HARPER: Boyhood friend Tanner Chauncey could be referenced a couple times in the March MLB article about Bryce Harper in ESPN Magazine. In mid-February Chauncey was interviewed for about 30 minutes by reporter Tim Keown. It could include stories about the two attending early-morning Seminary in Las Vegas, double-dating, or how their mothers chat. Chauncey's parents were joined by Harper's parents as they watched Tanner play in BYU's doubleheader at Las Vegas against Saint Louis University. Also watching the BYU-SLU series in Las Vegas was Chauncey's grandmother, a Georgia native with a southern accent and a history of playing softball.
 
PARENTS IN LAS VEGAS:  Several players parents were in the stands at Cashman Field in Las Vegas.  Among them were those of Brennon Anderson, Chauncey, Jackson Cluff, Kyle Dean, Nate Favero, Riley Gates, Brock Hale, Noah Hill, Court Iorg, Brennon Lund, Hayden NielsenMichael Rucker, Daniel Schneemann, Eric Urry, Easton Walker, Jordan Wood and Colton Shaver. Among the former Cougar players in attendance in addition to Paul Cluff and Dane Iorg were Jeff Hiestand, Adam Law and Wade Vest.
 
ESPN3 AT KANSAS:  Don't be confused, you cannot watch ESPN3 on your TV set unless you hook up your computer to your monitor, but you will be able to watch the video stream of all three of BYU's games against Kansas in early March.  There will be no video of BYU's games in Alabama streamed through Samford University's system, but there will be audio streaming of the first three games from Birmingham.  Several BYU's home games on TheW.tv prior to BYUtv televising the March 17 game against Pacific in Provo.
 
BYU RADIO BROADCASTS:  Veteran radio announcer Brent Norton will be calling the play-by-play for all of BYU's league games.  A recent decision was made for Norton to broadcast the third and fourth games of the Niagara series, the Arizona game and the entire Creighton series along with the Utah series all on ESPN Radio 960 AM and Sirius Satellite 143.
 
ESPNU: The West Coast Conference just notified BYU that its final game of the regular season will be televised by ESPNU on May 21, moving the game in Provo vs. Santa Clara from 1 p.m. that Saturday to 6 p.m. MDT.
 
ADAMS IN SAUDI ARABIA: Former Cougar outfielder Stu Adams (1985-86) took part of his February vacation from Saudi Arabia to visit his son Brett at practices for the BYU baseball team in the Indoor Practice Facility. Adams told of how he has taken up scuba diving in the Red Sea as a diversion from his civil engineering work where he also serves as a counselor in the branch presidency in Yanbu. Adams is just finishing a two-year commitment in Saudi Arabia.
 
MOVES TO UTAH:  At least two BYU baseball player's parents have moved to Utah since they were recruited in high school.  Jordan Wood's parents moved from Friendswood, Texas to Highland, Utah while he was serving a mission to England.  Jackson Cluff's parents recently moved from Meridian, Idaho to Tooele, Utah.
 
FUNGO COLLECTION: Perhaps you've seen the framed collection of 24 fungo bats in the background of an interview with BYU coach Mike Littlewood.  Among the orange, blue, black, natural wood and teal-colored fungoes is his first fungo bat from his Alta High School coaching days in the 1990s.
 
YOURS TRULY: There are a couple social media sites where you can get BYU baseball news, among them are @BYUbaseball on Twitter and Facebook. If you wish, add my Twitter handle @RalphZobell to those you follow.  Years ago, I was the original full-time "Twitterer" for the BYU Athletic Department until a full-time social media specialist was hired.  Until this past summer, I Tweeted for @BYUbaseball which is now handled by the specialists' office, so I created @RalphZobell for those who want more information on Cougar Baseball than is available elsewhere.  You could also add the Twitter handles of our coaches: @Ybaseballcoach, @bharing3, @tp_pratt and @JT_BYUBASEBALL.
 
REPRESENTATIVE OF COLLEGE WORLD SERIES: We recently learned Eric Urry's Grandpa, the late Herbert Urry was on the College World Series baseball team with the University of Utah in 1951 when the Utes split with the University of Tennessee, beat Texas A & M and lost to USC.​

January Baseball Blog

Jan 19, 2016 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 10:26 am | Updated: January 19, 2016 10:43 am | Permalink

NEW COUGARS:  Left-handed pitchers Bo Burrup and Rhett Parkinson officially joined the team when classes began the first day of this month.  Both are recently returned from serving church missions to Baltimore, Maryland and Salem, Oregon, respectively.  Burrup signed with BYU before his mission and Parkinson signed with BYU several years ago before enrolling at Salt Lake Community College.

COLE WILSTEAD GONE: First baseman Cole Wilstead is still a Cougar, just not for the BYU baseball team.  The former all-state football player from St. George is on the BYU football team.  His younger brother Kody is a quarterback for BYU football, but is currently serving a church mission to Argentina.

BID FAREWELL:  We bid farewell to former BYU baseball player Cal Crump who passed away this month.  Crump played for BYU in the late 1940s and early 1950s.  He stopped by our office last year to give us several articles regarding that era.

MORE MARRIED PLAYERS: Junior right-handers Keaton Cenatiempo  and Connor Williams got married to their wives last month. Other married players on BYU’s team are Hayden NielsenHayden RogersMichael Rucker and Eric Urry.  At this point, one other engaged Cougar is Tanner Chauncey, whose fiancée  is in law school at the University of Utah and they plan to get married after the season.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY THIS MONTH: Current Cougars celebrating birthdays this month are Bryan Call, Keaton Cenatiempo, Keaton Kringlen and Daniel Schneemann.

GREEN SCREEN SHOTS: BYU’s baseball players got their green screen pictures taken at the BYUtv building earlier this month. Those photos will be used for introductory lineups for the 10 games televised by BYUtv and one by the Pac-12 Network this season. In addition to having their photos taken, a couple players including Eric Urry, Tanner Chauncey  and Maverik Buffo recorded sound bites to be used in promoting shows on BYUtv. Chauncey's sound bite had an unusual twist with him growling like a Cougar and Buffo wears six ball caps atop his head in rally-cap fashion.

DR. FIFE NOW ELDER FIFE:  Among the 28 former players and coaches attending the First Pitch Dinner earlier this month was Dr. Tom Fife (BYU 1962-67), who entered the MTC a couple days afterward bound for a missionary medical assignment with his wife, Karen, in Minnesota.

ONLY SHOW IN TOWN:  While there are many shows playing all the time in Las Vegas, BYU's four-game season opener against Saint Louis University at Cashman Field in Las Vegas is the only collegiate baseball game that weekend.  The UNLV Rebels are on the road in a three-game series at the University of Texas during that time.

COUGARS RETURN TO LAS VEGAS:  BYU's baseball team won one of a four-game series at Cashman Field last year against Oklahoma after the series was moved there on short notice because of bad weather in the midwest.  BYU's men's and women's basketball teams return to Las Vegas on March 3-8.

51's SEASON OPENER:  The Las Vegas 51's, the triple A affiliate of the New York Mets, and residents of Cashman Field open their home season on April 7-10 against Fresno.

RADIO BROADCASTS:  Veteran radio broadcaster Brent Norton will call the play-by-play again this season, starting next month  when BYU plays Utah.  Joining Norton in the radio booth on more occasions than in the past is former Cougar Cameron Coughlan (BYU 2000-02) who moved from his Disneyland job in California to work for the Utah Jazz in corporate relations. Other former Cougars whom you might hear on the air this year include Jeff Bills (BYU 1972-75) and Marc Oslund (BYU 2009-13).