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Men's Baseball Blog

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).

Samoa, fifth posting

Oct 27, 2015 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 2:00 pm | Updated: October 28, 2015 2:00 pm | Permalink

Fifth report from Brent Haring, head coach for the American Samoa National Team:

Wow, I cannot believe it is Monday morning already. We begin our journey back tonight. The last two days have been days that I don't think any of us will forget. Saturday morning we went to the stadium (there is one main stadium on island for virtually every major event) where they were holding the annual Day of the Woman festival. Brian, Kim Santiago, Coach Littlewood, and myself were all invited to sit up on the stand with the Lieutenant Governors as "distinguished" you can see we have fooled everyone here. Following the program Coach Littlewood did a basketball-refereeing clinic to all the baskets referees on the island. They were so excited to pick the brain of someone that has worked multiple NCAA tournaments. While Coach was doing that I went and ran another clinic for baseball and softball players on the island. Once again the turnout was unbelievable as many kids showed up to watch and participate. 

After the clinics we were invited by the Scratch/Ho Ching family to their land (which is unbelievable as it overlooks the ocean) for a traditional umu (bbq) where we weaved our own plates from the leaves of the coconut tree. They then taught us how to make palusami a tradition meal (taro leaves with coconut milk inside). The food was all cooked in the umu underground and there was so much of it. What an awesome experience to learn about the culture firsthand. We are so grateful that the Ho Ching family would have us over to do this. Once dinner was over we sat around and visited with one another, it truly was a highlight to get to visit with them. In true Samoan fashion through talking we came to find out that Brother Ho Ching and my father in law are pretty closely related, as such it became a family gathering as well. What an awesome experience!!

Sunday morning we were able to attend church in Pava'ia'i at the English-speaking ward where we were welcomed with open arms. That evening we did a fireside for the Pago West Stake and it was the highlight of the trip. What a blessing to be here and to interact with the youth of American Samoa and the wonderful members here. This has truly been a trip to remember and I personally am grateful to Brian and Coach for the opportunity to come with them.

Samoa, fourth posting

Oct 26, 2015 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 12:37 pm | Permalink

Fourth report from Brent Haring, head coach for the American Samoa National Team:

Today was a busy day. We did four school visits where we met with different groups of kids. Our group was humbled by the kids. Each group with the exception of one gave thanks by singing a traditional Samoan hymn. When the time came to sing they would each grab the hand of those sitting next to them and then harmonize the hymn acapella. Their voices are stunning and it really hits you right in the heart. Following the school visits the Parks and Recreation department as well as the American Samoa Basketball Association hosted a free basketball clinic that we were able to instruct at. It was a great turnout as kids came from all parts of the island. What a great day but as you can imagine we are dead tired as we were going from early this morning until late this evening. Until tomorrow!!!

Samoa, third posting

Oct 23, 2015 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 10:45 am | Updated: October 23, 2015 7:05 pm | Permalink

Third report from Brent Haring, head coach for the American Samoa National Team:

This morning we got up and went to Pesega High School, which is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We had a great reception from Principal Leauanae and his students. We were all blown away by the beautiful voices of the students as they harmonized the hymn We Thank Thee Oh God For A Prophet. It was truly amazing. We then boarded a flight back to Pago Pago American Samoa, once again we crossed the International Dateline so we returned on Thursday, so this is our second Thursday on this trip. When we returned we had a clinic that was put together by the Parks and Recreation department as well as the American Samoa Baseball Program. The boys and girls that attended were a blast to work with! What an incredible opportunity to pass along what we have to these young kids. Tomorrow we have another busy day, can't wait to see what it brings!!

Samoa, second posting

Oct 22, 2015 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 10:40 am | Permalink

Second report from Brent Haring, head coach for the American Samoa National Team:

This morning we skipped Wednesday by flying to the island of Apia Samoa which is 25 hours ahead of American Samoa. We went to the Apia market and then drove around the island to our hotel. What a beautiful island. When we got to the hotel we each took some time to get into the ocean and pool. We then had a traditional Samoan meal with a fiafia show with the traditional singing and dancing along with a fire knife dance. Tomorrow we look forward to doing a devotional at Pesega Church School and a chance to visit the temple grounds. Tofa soifua!

Samoa, first posting

Oct 21, 2015 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 11:28 am | Permalink

First report from Brent Haring, head coach for the American Samoa National Team:

Talofa lava from Pago Pago, American Samoa. After two long flights (six hours from Salt Lake City to Honolulu and five hours from Honolulu to Pago Pago) our group (Brian Santiago and his wife Kimberly and son Colson, Coach Mike Littlewood and his wife Dani, and Coach Brent Haring his wife Mary and son Tomasi as well as father in law Panana Falatea) arrived to a most welcoming party from American Samoa. They escorted us to the Tradewinds Hotel, although it was only 10:00 p.m. here it was 3:00 a.m. back in Provo and we were spent. Knowing that we had an early morning we all hit the pillow for much needed rest.

First thing Tuesday morning Brian, Coach Littlewood, and I all went to the radio station for an interview where Senior Associate AD Brian Santiago got fired up about his Yankees being eliminated from postseason. Following the radio we met up with the rest of the party for a sit down with the Lieutenant Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga. What a treat! From there we had a welcoming lunch hosted by the American Samoa Parks and Recreation department along with the Director of Women's Athletics and the President of the Baseball Association and Olympic Committee on a beach front resort. The food was fantastic and the views were even better. We then went to a baseball/softball clinic put on by the Parks and Recreation department where there was close to 100 boys and girls here on the island. It was great to be around these kids that want to learn and get better. After the clinic and dinner it is off to bed as we prepare to journey to the island of Upolu in Samoa first thing tomorrow morning. Until tomorrow manuia le po.

May Baseball Blog

May 26, 2015 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 7:12 am | Updated: May 26, 2015 9:54 am | Permalink

POPPING BUTTONS: There have been several proud moments during the season. Among the top is a true button-popping celebration at home plate following Jarrett Jarvis' walk-off home run in a 4-3 victory at Saint Mary's College. All six-buttons were ripped off Jarvis' jersey No. 16 in the celebration which not only gave BYU the win, but the No. 3 seed going into the WCC Tournament. If buttons could sprout instead of being popped off, then seeds for future Cougar victories have been planted among the lost buttons at Louis Guisto Field. Log on to see the walk-off home run by Jarvis at Saint Mary's.

SEASON'S GREETINGS: Not at Christmas time, but at the end of the regular season were greetings exchanged between a couple of Cougars and some acquaintances on the UNLV baseball team. Now in different leagues, players from the two teams were staying at the same hotel prior to BYU playing at Santa Clara and UNLV playing at San Jose State. As the Cougars got off the bus at the hotel, greetings were exchanged between Cole Wilstead, Tanner Chauncey and Brennon Lund with some of the Rebels. Wilstead played previously at UNLV where he hosted Rebel Joey Armstrong on a recruiting trip and exchanged greetings this month with him, a former roommate and some other buddies on that team. Chauncey is from Las Vegas and knew several of the 17 Nevadans on the UNLV roster. Lund knew a Utahn from West Jordan on the Rebel roster. UNLV got rained out its first night in San Jose, while BYU was able to play nearby at Santa Clara that same night after a welcome, long-needed rain to drought stricken California.

BANDAGES PART ONE & TWO: Part one was the bandage removed somewhat from junior outfielder Eric Urry, who dislocated his middle finger on his throwing hand last month. Urry pinch-ran in the Santa Clara and Pacific series this month and in the WCC Tournament game against San Diego. Prior to the Santa Clara series, he was permitted to take dry swings off a hitting tee and could have hit a whiffle ball. He then took a pinch-hit at bat in the make-up game at Saint Mary's.

Part two, is a splint applied to the thumb of team manager Brett Adams who dislocated it diving for a home run shot in the pre-game batting practice by the Los Angeles Dodgers at AT&T Ballpark in San Francisco. The Giants hosted the Cougars on the field for their batting practice prior to the Cougars going to places like the right field seats above McCovey Cove. Adams eventually retrieved the ball and received treatment in an aid station at the ballpark.

POPULAR TWEET:  Our hostess who helped the BYU team get on the field at AT&T Ballpark was in charge of social media for the San Francisco Giants.  She took this photo of Kolton Mahoney and some of his teammates taking a selfie at the Giants' batting practice, posted it on San Francisco's team twitter site and we retweeted it.  That tweet is one of the most popular tweets on BYU's twitter account. You can view this popular tweet on this link.

PRO CHANGES: Marcus Littlewood, son of head coach Mike Littlewood, was promoted earlier this month from the Seattle Mariner's club in Bakersfield, California, to the Jackson Generals in Tennessee where he will play in the same AA league as former Cougars Jacob Hannemann and Adam Miller. Former Cougar Matt Carson was traded back to the Oakland A's from his AAA assignment in Oklahoma with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

SUMMER LEAGUE ASSIGNMENTS: Brennon Lund and Mason Marshall to the Battle Creek Bombers in Michigan; Riley Gates to the Duluth Huskies in Minnesota; Blake Brailsford to Newark; Maverik Buffo and Colton Shaver to the Washington D.C. Grays; Seth Huxford to the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets in Saskatchewan, Canada; Brady Corless to Orleans in the Cap Cod League; Brian Hsu to the Menlo Oaks in California; Court Iorg and Keaton Cenatiempo to the Palm Springs Power in California; Bronson Larsen and Cole Wilstead to the Bellingham Bells in Washington; and Wyatt Padgett to the Rochester Honkers in New York;

DROUGHT IN DRY CREEK: BYU's baseball team took a day off on the Sunday when it was in transit in California to attend church services in Campbell, California, after completing the three-game series at Santa Clara prior to winning the make-up game the next day at Saint Mary's College. The Cougars attended the Dry Creek Ward Conference where they learned more about the drought in California. Ironically, it had rained in nearby San Jose a couple days earlier and there was a steady rain back home in Utah. In a game the end of last month at Utah Valley University there was an out-pouring of water when the sprinklers accidently turned on for 10 minutes in the seventh inning of BYU's 5-2 victory.

OLDEST FAN: No word on how old this gentleman was, but Coach Mike Littlewood stopped en route to a post-game interview in the press box at Santa Clara to chat with a man using a walker. The man said he was the oldest Cougar fan in San Jose, so Littlewood had Cougar equipment manager Steve Bushman present the elderly fan with an official BYU baseball cap. The oldest BYU fan in Stockton was 86-year-old Dee Bird (BYU class `55 bachelors & '59 masters) who watched BYU play Pepperdine in the WCC Tournament.To see Dee Bird on our Twitter account, go to this link.

VIDEO CLIPS: In case you missed them, here's links to the play at Santa Clara which robbed Bronson Larsen of a sure double and Coach Mike Littlewood being "miked" up at the WCC Tournament.

April Baseball Blog

Apr 16, 2015 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 9:52 pm | Updated: April 17, 2015 12:22 pm | Permalink

FIRESIDE IN SAN DIEGO: Last month before upsetting No. 29 San Diego State the night before, BYU baseball held a fireside where coach Mike Littlewood, catchers Jarrett Jarvis and Grant Hodges and first baseman Cole Wilstead all spoke on the theme overcoming adversity.

Wilstead pointed out the story of the apostle Peter losing sight of his goal when he had been walking on the water, then started sinking. Jarvis spoke about his wife's bout with illness, and Hodges spoke on "why me?" as he told of having to come home early from a mission to Utah because of migraine headaches. Among the questions asked by youth in attendance was how BYU players felt about not playing on Sunday.

GRADUATION THIS MONTH: Jeff Barker (economics) and Dillon Robinson (finance) from this season's team are scheduled to graduate this month and Brandon Kinser (geography) is scheduled to graduate in August.  From last year's team, Kelton Caldwell (geography) and Brock Whitney (exercise science) are scheduled to graduate this month and Bret Lopez graduated last December (exercise science).

PRO ASSIGNMENTS: Adam Law, outfielder for the single A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (BYU) and coach Mike Littlewood's son Marcus Littlewood, catcher, Bakersfield Blaze are in the same league in California where the BYU mentor watched them play following the Cougars' games at LMU and Cal State Northridge.

Match the rest of the assignments for former Cougars playing in the pro ranks:

Jaycob Brugman, outfielder   AA Mobile Baybears
Matt Carson, outfielder
  A Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Taylor Cole, pitcher   Kansas City Royals
Jeremy Guthrie, pitcher   AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats
Jacob Hannemann, outfielder   AAA Oklahoma City Dodgers
Adam Miller, pitcher   AA Midland RockHounds

Answer: Reverse the order of the columns

PROSPECTIVE FOOTBALL TEAM: The Cougar baseball team could field a partial football team with players who had the following positions for their high school teams:
Punters: Paxton Larson and Keaton Cenatiempo
Tight End: Cole Wilstead
Linebacker: Colton Shaver and Dallen Reber
Quarterback: Wyatt Padgett.

Speaking of Shaver, here's a link to an interesting story about him losing a rib in high school due to a blood clot.

MISSION CALLS: James Barker and Paxton Larson are processing mission papers, but have not yet received their calls. The two freshmen are the only Cougars residing in Helaman Halls dormitories.

SPOTLIGHT TRAINER ALEX DAVIS: The Cougar trainer has an extensive playing career as a prep baseball player at Pleasant Grove High School in Utah. An anonymous source says: Alex was the starting shortstop for Utah Hall of Fame coach Jon Hoover. He was also the starting shortstop for the Utah State University baseball club. While at USU he played against Coach Littlewood and his staff when they were at Dixie State. While he was getting his graduate degree at Weber State he was an athletic trainer intern for the Salt Lake Bees and worked on future major league players such as Mark Trumbo, Hank Conger and Peter Bourjos.

TUCKETT TRAVELS: Former BYU athletic director/baseball coach Glen Tuckett continued his travels earlier this month when he attended the funeral of contemporary baseball coach “Bobo” Brayton, 89, of Washington State in Pullman. Tuckett’s record vs. Brayton was 6-5.

March Baseball Blog

Mar 17, 2015 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 1:55 pm | Updated: March 20, 2015 9:12 pm | Permalink

TWITTER TWEET: "Another Colton, Cole Wilstead this time with a 2-out homer past 388 mark in right center for a 2-0 Cougar lead in 2nd." That's what we tweeted after Wilstead followed Colton Shaver with a home run at Utah Valley University earlier this month.  That tweet prompted fellow St. Georgian Dallin Reber to quip to Wilstead, "Hey, Ralph thinks your first name is Colton," to which Wilstead informed him, "It is."  Wilstead chooses to go by the shorter version Cole instead of his official first name Colton, not to be confused with Kolton Mahoney.

LITTLEWOOD BIG LEAGUE: Coach Mike Littlewood's son Marcus was called up last month to the big league squad of the Seattle Mariners, at least for the duration of Spring Training. In addition to bullpen duties as a catcher, he got a stint as a pinch-runner and had one at-bat in another game.  He joined the big league club the week BYU played Nebraska at the Peoria facility.

"HOG HEAVEN": Former BYU coach Glen Tuckett has a rendezvous this week at Spring Training in Arizona with his former players Gary Pullins, Jeff Bills, Dr. Tom Fife, Dennis Lamb (BYU's first baseball All-American) and Larry Romney.  Some of the group will also dine with former Cougars Vance and Adam Law and Jaycob Brugman while in Arizona. Some also got to rub shoulders with Dodger great Tommy LaSorda at a White Sox-Mariner game. The White Sox played the Angels in another game viewed by the former Cougars, who also met with former Major League pitcher Bruce Hurst from St. George.

EAGLE LANDS: James Barker officially became the 11th Eagle Scout on the team last December when he returned home for Christmas vacation.  A delay in his Eagle project made the official presentation occur after his 18th birthday last October.  He earned over 40 merit badges, but that delay did not leave time for official presentation of Eagle Palms.  His Eagle Project was laying brick and mortar for a pad at an elementary school near his home.

THAT'LL LEAVE A MARK: Colton Shaver was twice hit by a pitch in the finale against the University of Hartford in Provo earlier this month. Following the Saturday game when he was asked if the ball left any marks on him.  The muscular Shaver replied, "No, I left some marks on the ball."

MEASURE UP: How tall is Mason Marshall?  He says he is 5-foot-10, having "grown" a couple inches while on his mission to the Philippines (he was listed as 5-foot-8 as a freshman).  Pitching coach Jeremy Thomas stands 5-foot-10 (he was listed as 6-foot-0 as a Cougar senior in 1999) and says he is taller than Marshall and also threw a couple miles per hour faster than the Mantis.

TWITTER TWEET, TOO (TWO): Twitter dialog during the UVU game from former players was interesting.  We tweeted: "Ditto Marshall for the 7th like the 6th after BYU set down in order; 1-3, 1-3, KS x2 for the Mantis; BYU 3-2 top of order."  For a fun dialogue regarding this tweet between former Cougars Ryan Bernal, Adam and Andrew Law and Alex Wolfe, log on to:

February Baseball Blog

Feb 23, 2015 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 11:18 am | Updated: March 3, 2015 2:37 pm | Permalink

MORNINGSIDE:  Oklahoma’s baseball public address announcer also teaches at the Institute of Religion and arranged for the Cougars to participate at a Morningside this Friday, but those plans were scrubbed for BYU's baseball team when the Oklahoma series was moved to Las Vegas due to inclement weather.

PILOT FATHER: Outfielder Eric Urry’s father, John, was an extra proud captain (pilot) on last week’s US Air flight the Cougars flew to Phoenix. Eric flew one other time when his father was piloting the plane he was on, that was with his mother to New York. On the Phoenix flight, Captain Urry welcomed passengers over the microphone and then said he wanted to give a special shout out to the BYU baseball team of which his son is a member.

FORMER PLAYERS WATCHING NEBRASKA SERIES: From the Coach Tuckett era: Steve Hart (1968-69). From the Coach Pullins era: Brent Brown (1985-91). From the Coach Law/Littlewood era: Chris Howard (2010-14).

PLAYERS' PARENTS AT ARIZONA: Here’s a partial sighting of players' parents who watched sons play in the BYU-Nebraska series at Peoria in the 70-degree weather:  Barker’s, Buffo’s, Cenatiempo’s, Corless’, Kinser’s, Larson’s, Nielsen’s, Marshall’s, Padgett’s, Reber’s, Robinson’s, Rogers’, Rucker’s, Starr’s and Urry’s.

BLACK & WHITE: The Cougars wore their Anthracite charcoal-colored uniforms in the final game against Nebraska. Some fans worried the uniforms might have been too hot in the Arizona sun, but coach Mike Littlewood says the new uniforms are actually quite comfortable.  Littlewood says fans might see the team wear the anthracite uniforms on either Thursday or Friday nights, borrowing the look from UC Irvine a couple years ago or TCU last year.  Look for the Cougars to also wear a throwback cream-colored uniform on Thursday home games and some midweek home games.

PAST PLAYERS/COACHES: Here’s a list of some former Cougar players and coaches who were in attendance at last month’s second annual First Pitch Fundraiser with Jeff Kent: Tim Anderson, Michel Bergeron, Jeff Bills, Ryan Chambers, Casey Cloward, Jonathan Cluff *, Tyler Dabo, David Decker, Tom Fife, Dane and Seth Iorg, Dave Jensen *, Kory Knell *, Adam *, Vance and Vernon Law, Mike Littlewood, Blair Lucas, Adam Miller, Bobby Noel, James Platt, Ben Saylor *, Bryce Searle, Brandon Taylor *, Glen Tuckett, Wade Vest, Ranger Wiens *, Brock Whitney *, and Randy Wilstead. The players marked with an asterisk* received the Cameron Tuckett Award that evening, too.

MORE ON FIRST PITCH:  Former Cougar David Decker (1997-98), owner of CMS, in Orem near Walmart, out-bid others at the First Pitch Dinner to make the Arizona trip with BYU's team. Decker brought along his son Camden (named after Camden Yard, close to where they lived in Maryland), who served as the ball boy for the Cougars during the Nebraska series.

NICKNAMES:  Among the nicknames tossed around the team is “Chief” for Hayden Nielsen and “Junior” not James, to distinguish Jeff Barker from younger brother James. Pac Man is Paxton Larson. Pancake is for Cole Wilstead and Jimmy is for James Lengal.

NOT THE BADGE, BUT THE STORE: Maverik Buffo does not use the letter ‘C’ in spelling his first name, unlike the badge of the lawman, but like the convenience store. However, Buffo’s father Steve confessed when Maverik was a toddler, the family wrote their names in a newly poured cement slab. Because Maverik was too young, his father wrote his name in the cement, spelling it with a ‘C.’ Steve Buffo is the owner of Buffo’s Pest Control that has offices in Provo, Salt Lake City and St. George. When Maverik isn’t playing summer baseball, he occasionally works for his father to earn extra cash.

ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED: Five players on the team are now engaged, preparing to join the list of eight teammates who are married. The engaged players are Kolton Mahoney, Hayden Nielsen, Dallen Reber and Eric Urry.

LANGUAGES & ETHNICITY ON TEAM: Spanish (Gates, Padgett, Reber, Urry and Whitney), Portuguese (Huxford, Isom and Chauncey), Tagalog (Marshall), Cebuano and Ilocano (Wilstead) are the languages. James and Jeff Barker are half Japanese. Brian Hsu is part Chinese and part Korean. Maverik Buffo is three-quarter Italian and his grandfather lived in Italy.

ANOTHER AMBIDEXTROUS GUY: Joining Brandon Kinser in the ambidextrous category is teammate Cole Wilstead who bats left,  throws left,  writes right and dunks with either hand. Wilstead said his  brother Cody, who signed as a QB with BYU and now has a mission call to Neuquén, Argentina this April, “never will dunk on me, I’d foul him first.” Cole said his father Randy, a former pro and Cougar All-American, would take the ball out of Cole’s right hand as a toddler and put it in Cole’s left hand. Cole took yoga classes at UNLV before transferring to BYU to improve his ability to stretch as a first baseman.

SHAGGING FOR FUNGOS: Don’t be surprised if you see a girl catching balls tossed in after coaches hit fungos in warmups for the team.  The young lady is Heather Black, one of the team’s trainers, who used to be a pitcher for Southern Utah’s softball team.

TRANSFERRED: Trace Hansen is playing at West Texas A&M in Canyon, and JC Snyder is playing at Angelo State in San Angelo, Texas.