Men's Baseball Blog | 2012

California Trip V

May 09, 2012 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 10:38 am | Updated: May 9, 2012 1:59 pm | Permalink

Bus Trip to Pepperdine

Three weeks ago BYU was notified its flight plans to California were scrubbed by the airlines.  The Cougars left this morning on their longest bus trip of the season.  Prior to this bus trip, the longest bus trip of the season was a couple-hour ride from Tulsa to No. 4 Arkansas.

Guenther Cleared to Play

BYU senior co-captain Wes Guenther was cleared to play for this week’s three-game series at Pepperdine.

Guenther got an early initiation last night for hopeful enrollment in dental school.  He had to be scratched from the starting lineup at the last minute due to an errant throw which hit him in the mouth on the final play of infield workouts prior to the Southern Utah game.  Team dentist Dr. Greg Pitts, a former defensive lineman for BYU, made an after-hours visit to Guenther during the game.

Guenther is on the Johnny Bench Watch List.

Guenther’s wife, Christen, is competing in the pole vault this weekend at the Georgia Tech Invitational.

Tanner Chauncey Makes Pepperdine Trip

Freshman Tanner Chauncey made this week’s trip, but it is not certain whether he can play.  Chauncey reinjured his hamstring last week after his leadoff at bat in the first inning in the Utah Valley game.  Last Saturday he opened up his mission call delivered by his parents who drove up from Las Vegas.  Chauncey will be serving in the Brazil Joao Pessoa mission and is one of four Cougars who have received calls this season thus far on the team.

Matthew Hutchings is going to Germany, and Mason Marshall and Travis Stacey are going to the Philippines.

A BYU Cougar From Pepperdine

BYU pitching coach Wally Ritchie graduated twice from Pepperdine. After retiring from pro baseball in 1998, Ritchie earned his bachelor of science degree in business management in 2000 at Pepperdine University.  He also earned a MBA in finance and strategic planning from Pepperdine in 2002.  Ritchie pitched at BYU as a freshman in 1984 before transferring to Glendale Community College and then being drafted in the fourth round of  MLB 1985 by the Philadelphia Phillies.  You may have seen Ritchie's convertible with the license plate "Lefty," parked outside Miller Park.

Possible Radio Broadcast Delay

The online streaming of Thursday and Friday's BYU-Pepperdine series could be joined in progress if the BYU softball games run longer at the Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Las Cruces, N.M.  Should that happen, those listening on the Internet will be able to listen to Brent Norton and BYU baseball as soon as those softball games are completed.

Broken Bat Tally

The count is now up to 17 broken bats for BYU’s team, (see blog posting on Seattle Trip).  Freshman designated hitter Jarrett Jarvis broke one last Saturday and was holding a teammate’s broken bat in pre-game last night.

Equipment Donated for Pitch-In

Last week BYU collected items (balls, bats, gloves, catcher's gear, helmest, etc.) during the series with San Diego towards the Pitch-in for Baseball.  Adding to those donations was equipment the Cougars were not able to take on last November’s trip to the Dominican Republic. Pitch-in for Baseball is a foundation that facilitates baseball gear donation to needy communities around the world.  Fans attending the BYU games at Pepperdine can donate to this cause because this is the designated weekend for the Waves to host this collection.

BYU’s Perfect Game

Since the last blog posting, an account and box score have been posted of the only perfect game thrown in BYU history.  Bobby Noel, now serving his third mission after retiring as BYU’s pitching coach—this time in Washington D.C., threw the perfect game in 1961 vs. Montana.

California Trip IV

Apr 23, 2012 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 2:53 pm | Updated: April 23, 2012 5:53 pm | Permalink

On Mason Marshall

Mason Marshall will be featured tonight on True Blue on BYUtv, airing at 6 p.m., with replays at 9 p.m. and on Tuesday., Apr. 24 at 12 a.m., 5:30 p.m. MDT.  Marshall told True Blue reporter Robbie Bullough, who stands 5-foot-5, that he stands 5-foot-9.  We list Marshall at 5-foot-8, even though he reported on his information sheet as 5-foot-10.

Marshall’s grandfather Jerry McCleary, who is 6-foot-2, played basketball for the University of Utah (1956-57). Marshall had an uncle who played baseball for the University of Utah. Marshall’s father, Rob, who is 6-foot-1, and Uncle Ron played football for Snow College.

Graduation Activities

Among the visitors watching last Friday’s intersquad scrimmage was former Cougar baseball player Craig Angelos (1985-86), currently the director of athletics at Florida Atlantic University.  Angelos was in town for the graduation of his daughter from BYU.

BYU took a team photo prior to last Friday’s scrimmage. Among those missing from that photo were catcher Wes Guenther who was walking through the graduation ceremonies with his wife, Christen, a pole-vaulter on BYU’s team.

At Stanford

Former BYU baseball third baseman Kevin Bills is the director of baseball operations at Stanford University.  His father Jeff, who was a catcher at BYU, may be down on the Cardinal bench when he is not on the air as an analyst with play-by-play announcer Brent Norton.

Jeff Bills (1973-75) may also be part of a mini-reunion of former BYU baseball players who were under the tutelage of former BYU baseball coach and director of athletics, Glen Tuckett.  Other’s who may join Tuckett at the Stanford game and visiting other places in the Bay area include Tom Fife (1962-67), Mike Staffieri (1970-72) and former BYU baseball second baseman and coach Gary Pullins (1968-69, 1977-1999).

At San Francisco

Pitcher Marc Oslund will be facing his former West Torrance High School catcher Mason Morioka, who is a senior at the University of San Francisco.  Oslund’s father is making the trip to San Francisco.

Seattle Baseball Trip

Apr 11, 2012 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 5:16 pm | Updated: April 12, 2012 4:22 pm | Permalink

On Friday, April 13, BYU will be playing at 6 p.m. (PDT) at Cheney Stadium where Coach Vance Law played as a pro. Coach Law played one month in 1991 for the Tacoma A's while he was under contract with the Oakland A's and in 1979-80 he played a couple times in that stadium while playing for the AAA Portland Beavers.

Depending on the weather, there may be live video streams of all four BYU games against Seattle University. Check the links at www.byucougars.com to see if the video stream is working.

Yesterday, five BYU baseball players did a 12-minute presentation for MComm 320 in the Tanner Building.  Adam Miller, Brock Whitney, Daniel Welch, Jaycob Brugman (in a tux for the Y Awards) and Adam Law dressed in suits and ties, see picture below, with a broken metal bat. Their presentation was on the disadvantages of the new bats which were mandated by the NCAA last year compared to wood bats. To date, this season there have been 14 broken bats of the new model which costs three to four times more than wood bats.

Speaking of Adam Law, he has a great lid collection of 60 caps. He built a hat rack with 30 hooks in high school wood shop, so that makes about two lids per hook.

At last night's Y Awards, there were four nominees from baseball. The unassisted triple play by Andrew Law in last year’s 8-2 BYU victory at host San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference Tournament was a nominee for play of the Year; Jaycob Brugman for Rookie of the Year; and former Cougar Dane Nielsen for the Dale McCann Spirit of Sport and Ed Stein Awards.

Next week co-captain Wes Guenther and his wife will walk through the BYU graduation ceremonies, getting their degrees in exercise science.  At the end of last month, Christen Guenther tied a BYU school record in the pole vaul at the Texas Relays at 4.25m (13-11.25), which was the sixth best leap in the nation. Also graduating next week is co-captain Alex Wolfe, who will be featured in Daily Herald in a story written by Neil Warner that is scheduled to be published this Sunday or Monday.

On our last blog for the Nevada trip, we mentioned Chris Capper's mustache, which was one of about 20 on the team for Mustache March.  Capper kept his mustache after winning at Nevada. Now Capper and Chris Howard, who won last week at Utah, are the only two sporting mustaches on the baseball team, and yes, they dye them.

Nevada Baseball Trip

Mar 28, 2012 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 4:38 pm | Updated: July 6, 2012 9:24 am | Permalink
  • As the bus readied to roll out of the Miller Park lot this afternoon to the Salt Lake City airport for the baseball team flying to Reno, Nevada, Thursday’s starting pitcher Chris Capper came by sporting a well-groomed mustache. “It’s Mustache March,” said Capper, who pointed out that teammates Chris Howard and Mason Marshall also have grown mustaches.  “If I do well, I’m going to keep it.”  Here’s hoping Capper gets his long-awaited first victory in his sixth start so that we can enjoy “Ambience April.”
  • Just before the team departed, catcher Wes Guenther and his wife Christen, a pole-vaulter for BYU’s women’s track and field team, did an interview with a BYU Daily Universe reporter.
  • Not on the bus to Reno was assistant baseball coach Ryan Roberts who was in Arizona recruiting before he joins the team in Nevada.
  • The altitude at Reno, Nevada is 4,400 feet above sea level.  BYU is at 4,553 feet, while the next highest altitude in the West Coast Conference is 1,843 feet at Gonzaga.  In the Mountain West Conference, BYU played at the Air Force Academy 7,258 feet, New Mexico 5,000 feet, and against Utah in Salt Lake City at 4,500 feet.
  • When the Cougars return from Reno, left-handed pitcher Daniel Welch will be doing an interview all in Portuguese next week for BYU International TV.  Welch served a mission to Brazil, as have seven former Cougar baseball players.
  • Here’s more specifics on the mission call reliever Mason Marshall opened earlier this week.  Marshall reports to the Missionary Training Center on July 18 and will be serving in the Philippines Cauayan Mission.  Marshall picked up his fourth save last night in the 9-8 victory at Utah, while fellow reliever Marc Oslund earned the win.  Oslund remarked before getting on the bus for the Nevada trip that he was pleased the Utah public address announcer properly pronounced his name as Ohs-lund instead of Oz-lund.
  • FYI, the BYU-Nevada games will not be broadcast by BYU Radio 960 AM, but will be available through Nevada's live audio, video and livestats. However, the live video is a pay account.
  • Forgot to mention that last week, BYU November signee Hayden Nielsen of Spanish Fork threw a perfect game in a 16-0 win vs. North Sanpete High School.  At last night's BYU-Utah game, current Cougar reserve catcher Jarrett Jarvis, a teammate of Nielsen's last year at SFHS, said he was aware of Nielsen's perfect game and that Jarvis had also caught a perfect game while in a Don uniform.
  • A note from a former Cougar relief specialist, Josh Barrett, who had seven saves in his BYU career from 2004-2006.  Barrett recently wrote, “ I'm living in the UK getting an MBA from the University of Oxford. I have a son now.  Life is good!”

Oregon Baseball Trip

Mar 22, 2012 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 3:23 am | Updated: March 23, 2012 9:26 am | Permalink

BYU's baseball team flew to Oregon yesterday, but Thursday's baseball game with the University of Portland has been postponed to Friday due to rain.

The Pilots and Cougars are scheduled to now play a doubleheader on Friday at the newly-opened Hilken Stadium.  Hilken Stadium is at Concordia University in Portland, one of at least seven four-year schools with the name Concordia--others are located in New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Chicago and Texas.

Saturday's action will not be at Hilken Stadium due to the high demand of soccer for that facility, rather is scheduled for Joe Etzel Field.  For a better look at Hilken Stadium check out this link, where you will notice that the area around the batter's box is even astro-turf.

Speaking of Hilken Stadium, if you look at the link for it on our schedule, you can see the satellite photo which shows it as a pre-construction site. By linking to the specific game, you can also see the current and projected weather forecast for Portland.  Earlier this week, the Pilots were rained out of a scheduled contest against the University of Hawai`i, en route to games for the Rainbows at Gonzaga.

Friday's first game at 11 a.m. PDT will not be broadcast live locally in Utah on Radio 960 AM by Brent Norton.  Game one is scheduled to have a live audio stream from the crew at the University of Portland (all of the Pilot games will have live stats and live audio, but we encourage you to listen to BYU Radio when it is carrying the games).

Norton intends to join that game in progress around 1 p.m., PDT, then call the entire action of game two of that doubleheader, starting around 2 p.m., PDT.  When Norton is on the air this weekend for games two and three, they will also be broadcast live worldwide on BYU Radio - Sirius XM 143. Norton will be joined by former BYU baseball coach Gary Pullins, who is driving up from Klamath Falls, Oregon where he has been assisting his in-laws.

Because of the weather delays, there will now not be any of the three scheduled BYU-Portland games streamed live on video as originally announced.

A couple of notes on the Cougar baseball team:

1) Jaycob Brugman and Alex Wolfe did interviews before the team left with KBYU 11 News; those interviews are scheduled to air live on Friday at noon MDT and will be available on archived video after that newscast.

2) Mission calls; freshman relief pitcher Mason Marshall (who has high school baseball teammats currently playing in North Carolina, at Utah Valley University and Northwestern College in Rangely, Colo.) received his mission call, but plans to await opening it until he returns from the Oregon trip. Teammate Travis Stacey has received his mission call to The Philippines.

3) This Tuesday's Deseret Duel with the University of Utah is at 6 p.m., at Spring Mobile Ballpark in Salt Lake City.  This is the first of thee games with Utah this season (April 3 at Spring Mobile Ballpark and April 17 at Larry H. Miller Field), where the teams will battle for the baseball portion and the final three points in the overall Deseret Duel which has been clinched this year by BYU.  Currently the standings in the overall Deseret Duel are BYU 28, Utah 16.

4) Last Monday, Coach Vance Law and pitcher Mark Anderson were in the middle of the interviews shown on BYUtv's True Blue Show, which can be viewed on this archive link.

5) You can pick up more information like shortstop Tanner Chauncey being the grandson of BYU Hall of Famer Terry Tebbs, by reading the PDF game notes posted at the bottom of game previews.

Nebraska Baseball Trip

Mar 11, 2012 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 11:05 am | Updated: March 11, 2012 9:57 pm | Permalink

Update as of Sunday night, Coach Vance Law reports the team's flight is delayed until midnight out of Denver.

TD Ameritrade Park Omaha is the site of this year's College World Series (June 15-25/26) after years competing at Rosenblatt Stadium (where BYU played in the 1968 and 1971 College World Series; the Cougars had qualified to play in 1958 and 1961 but declined because of Sunday play). 

BYU gets its first game at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on Tuesday against Creighton.

One of the new features on our website is that you can follow the link on our schedule page to get a map of how to find the ballpark and if you pursue that link, you can even find out what BYU's record is at the respective ballpark in past seasons  http://byucougars.com/schedule/m-baseball/2012.

Ironically, BYU plays Nebraska-Omaha on Monday at Creighton's CU Sports Complex, where BYU split a pair of games last year with Creighton.

This is BYU's first meeting with Nebraska-Omaha, who moved up from Division II to Division I this season.  The Cougar pitching rotation will be senior David Parry vs. Nebraska-Omaha on Monday and sophomore Desmond Poulson vs. Creighton on Tuesday.

The Cougars flew to Omaha, arriving late in the day,  after attending church services on Sunday after the weekend's three-game series at UC Irvine.

In Saturday's game at UC Irvine, BYU right fielder Jaycob Brugman picked up his first assist of the season.  Last year BYU's outfielders were among the nation's leaders in assists for outfielders.  Brugman even turned a doubleplay from the outfield last season and nearly got another on Saturday against the Anteaters.

The Nebraska trip concludes a 13-game span on the road as BYU readies to begin the home season this Saturday in a doubleheader against Seattle University starting at 1 p.m.  Both of the Seattle games in Provo will be televised live by BYUtv, part of the 14 BYU baseball games BYUtv will be televising this season.  The first game with Seattle will also be broadcast live on BYU Radio 960 AM with Brent Norton returns to calling the action again.

Norton reports he picked up a technology tip from the parents of Chase Frampton who taught him how to download the application "Tuneinradio" to his phone to listen to college radio broadcasts if they are on satellite.  Norton listened to game two at Arkansas on his cell phone.

League Debut in St. Mary's series

Feb 23, 2012 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 5:39 pm | Permalink

BYU's baseball team made its debut in the West Coach Conference.  Going into the game first-year pitching Coach Wally Ritchie said the feelings are different for him compared to when he was a Major League pitcher because, "I can't get in there and compete myself," saying he now depends on players following his tutelage.

In game one at St. Mary's College, sophomore Kelton Caldwell left his jersey No. 12 at the hotel, so had to borrow jersey No. 23 from pitcher Mark Anderson, who is scheduled to start on the mound on Friday.  Not making the trip to California was sophomore righthander Tyler Westensee so he can be rested for BYU's starting pitcher on Tuesday at No. 4 Arkansas.

In addition to following the games live on AM Radio 960 and live audiocasts, fans can follow the team on Facebook.

On Saturday, BYU's baseball team will stay in California to participate in a fireside at the San Ramon Chapel at 6:15 p.m.  Speakers at that fireside from the team will be Austin Hall, Marc Oslund, Adam Miller and Adam Law.