SAINTS: To start off the month of March, BYU opened its home season in St. George due to unplayable conditions at Larry H. Miller Field. Following that St. George trip, BYU coach Mike Littlewood flew to St. Louis for a recruiting trip. And on that same weekend, second baseman Brennon Anderson opened his mission call for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Santiago, Chile.
UPSET AT LSU: When BYU upset No. 2 LSU (NCBWA, also No. 3 Collegiate Baseball & No. 10 Baseball America/USA Today) last month, 9-4, that news was “trending” for a while. The tweet of the upset news was re-tweeted 40 times, second only to the 67 retweets earlier this year when Cougar gridders Cody Hoffman and Kyle Van Noy announced they were returning to BYU for senior seasons.
SAINTS IN LOUISIANA: Before upsetting LSU, BYU’s baseball team took time out to conduct a fireside where the speaker was BYU coach Mike Littlewood, followed by questions from youth at the fireside and answers.
While in Louisiana, BYU’s baseball team took a tour of the Marucci Bat Company where the CEO is Brett Stohlton (BYU MBA 2000) http://maruccisports.com/. The Cougars got to see how that company manufactures maple and aluminum bats.
Additionally, while in Louisiana BYU’s team ate at Mike Anderson’s restaurants where they were taught how to eat crawfish as they enjoyed Cajun cuisine.
MORE FISH: The Cougars ate at Ivar’s on the waterfront in Seattle after the team took a tour of Safeco Field, the home of the Seattle Mariners. At Safeco Field the Cougars walked through he dugouts and clubhouse and saw the sectional lights used to grow grass faster in its “indoor” environment.
ON RADIO FROM SEATTLE: BYU coach Mike Littlewood was interviewed live on Utah radio station 960 AM, just prior to the first of two games at Seattle. In that interview Littlewood described BYU’s upset at LSU: “It was an incredible day for us because of how we came back. We could have put our tails between our legs. It was a hallmark win for us.”
Littlewood continued about BYU’s season: “It’s been a process, there’s been a total buy-in. We teach the team to play hard and pay attention to details. That win (vs. LSU) showed us our potential and that’s the attitude we’re trying to bring to the program.
“We inherited strength and tremendous leadership, it’s not the first ‘rodeo’ for many of our players. The West Coast Conference is an incredible baseball league. Our weakness is our depth. We had four season-ending injuries (Marc Oslund, Chris Howard, Christian Mua and Dillon Robinson) and one career-ending injury (Daniel Sechrest).
“We’re on the cusp of getting over the hump and getting better. A bright spot is that we are going to be better each week. To be in the top four of the league is a realistic goal so that we can go to the conference tournament. Three of our high school recruits decided to go on missions after we signed them, so we have got to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. I love walk-ons and looking to find diamonds in the rough.”
THUMBS DOWN: It’s been a tough season for junior Dillon Robinson who will now miss playing due to his second thumb injury. Last October he fractured his thumb on his throwing hand while doing power cleans in the BYU weight room. That injury delayed his progress switching from third base to catcher. Then last month he accidentally stepped in front of a pitching machine that always throws one pitch after being turned off and suffered a concussion when he was hit in the head by a baseball. On his first day back after being cleared from that injury he reinjured his thumb while trying to hit a curve ball in practice.
OVERLOOKED: Assists from the outfield is a category in which BYU has been among the nation’s leaders. Lost in the shuffle of games not heard over the Internet was Jaycob Brugman’s first assist from the outfield this year, a 1-8-5 play in the first inning of the 5-4 victory over Northern Illinois when Brugman threw out a Husky trying to steal third. That assist was Brugman’s 20th assist from the outfield as a Cougar. Fellow outfielder Kelton Caldwell got his first assist in game two at Seattle on a 9-6 play where a Redhawk got hung up trying to advance to second after a fielder’s choice.
HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: Belated Happy Birthday to Cody Shepherd earlier this month and Happy Birthday to Desmond Poulson next week.