BYU Athletics Blog

March Baseball Blog

Mar 05, 2013 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 6:12 pm | Updated: March 7, 2013 8:57 am | Permalink

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.

Coach's Show: Sunday 3/3

Mar 04, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Craft Jordan at 2:10 pm | Permalink

Live from the KSL 5 TV studios, BYU head coach Dave Rose recapped last week's games against Gonzaga and LMU. The Cougars fell to the Bulldogs 70-65 at home and defeated LMU 73-70 on the road. 

"it was a special night on Thursday in the Marriott Center - great crowd, huge crowd and we were playing a really great team. We had a lot of chances. We got in a spot where we just needed to make a few plays to stay in it but we didn't, and they did, so they got it. That road game against LMU was a dangerous one and we knew that going in - LMU is a team that really knows how to compete."

On senior night against Bulldogs, coach Rose highlighted the senior play of Brandon Davies, Brock Zylstra and Craig Cusick. Each senior finished in double figures.

Against the Lions, Rose said Tyler Haws's performance helped get the Cougars the win. Haws finished with 24 points.

Later in the show, coach Rose spent went more in-depth talking about BYU's three seniors and how each of their unique skills augment the team. 

To finish the show, coach Rose talked about the other teams in the West Coast Conference and how each team wrapped up the year. Coach also previewed the upcoming WCC Tournament this weekend in Las Vegas. 

"It'll be interesting all week to prep for two teams going into this tournament - we'll have to get ready for Pepperdine and San Diego."

 

 

Senior Night tribute

Mar 02, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Craft Jordan at 11:43 am | Permalink

In BYU's final regular season home game, five seniors were honored for their contributions to the basketball program.

See the video tribute below.

Brock Zylstra, Brandon Davies, Craig Cusick, Chris Collinsworth and Stephen Rogers were all honored before the home game against Gonzaga on Feb. 28. Collinsworth and Rogers haven't played this year due to injuries before the season that have kept them out.  

Zylstra, Davies and Cusick are all starters for this year's squad.

UP CLOSE with Kelsey Brown

Feb 28, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 2:18 pm | Updated: March 5, 2013 3:59 pm | Permalink

If you are a sucker for cookies, double fudge chocolate cake or apple pie, you should make Kelsey Brown one of your baking buddies. Baking is actually her hidden talent, and she even tries to bake something new every Sunday. 

Brown, a transfer from the University of Oklahoma, grew up in Orem and came back to Utah County not only for the great track program at BYU, but also with the hopes of becoming an athletic trainer for the Utah Jazz or a Jazz dancer.

Make sure you read to the end. The most embarrasing moment is definitely a keeper.

Height- 5-8

Major- Exercise Science

Hometown- Orem, Utah

Track and field events-  400, 800, 1500 and Mile

Reason for attending BYU...

"I came here for the wonderful track & field program and to get a top-of-the-line education."

Best part of being on the BYU track and field team..

"Having such a great and large team, or possibly being able to go to the snack shack everyday."

Favorite movie...

"Definitely Bubble Boy. It's a classic!"

Best place to eat in Provo...

"I love Molly's restaurant and catering."

Favorite BYU sport other than track and field...

Men's Volleyball

Funniest member of the BYU track team and why..."

"Laura Young. She has great one liners such as 'I'm NOT dramatic,' or 'I'm DYING coach!'"  

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show...

"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what your gonna get." -Forrest Gump

Favorite pro sports team...

Utah Jazz

Best sport you play/played other than track and field...

Basketball

If you had a time machine, when/where would you go and why...

"I would like to go to the time period when dinosaurs roamed the earth. How cool would it be ride them?"

If you could add one thing to the BYU campus, what would it be:

"An escalator for the RB stairs. Those kill me everyday."

Favorite musical artist/band...

"Its got to be my soul sister Beyonce."

Most embarrassing moment...

"My most embarrassing moment was while I was still attending the University of Oklahoma. The men's and women's teams were on a bus going to a meet, the men were in the back and the women sat in the front. It was only a four hour drive, so I told myself I wasn't going to use the bathroom. Well, a short while into the drive, I already had to go. I was dating a guy named George at the time who was on the team and just happened to be sitting right next to the bathroom. Luckily, when I went back there he was asleep, so I wasn't that embarrassed going back. A little while later, I had to go to the bathroom AGAIN! I must have been really well hydrated. I was debating on trying to hold it for the last hour of the drive, but there was no way that was going to happen. I walked to the back of the bus again. This time, George was awake. As I was walking back, I made eye contact with him. When I looked at him, I just held up two fingers, and mouthed the words 'number two' as I am walking toward the bathroom. After seeing the terrified/disgusted look on his face as he is trying not to laugh, I made the connection on what he thought I said. I instantly fell to the ground in laughter trying to explain to every guy on the bus, and my boyfriend, that what I meant  was it was my second trip back to the bathroom, not that I was literally going to go 'number two'. I don't think I have ever gone to the bathroom so quick in my life, or been so embarrassed."

Favorite inspirational quote: 

"Promise me you'll always remember: you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." -Christopher Robin to Pooh

BYU Coach's Show: Tuesday 2/26

Feb 28, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Craft Jordan at 12:11 pm | Permalink

In his weekly KSL radio coach's show, head coach Dave Rose started with a recap of last week with BYU winning at home against Utah State and falling on the road to Saint Mary's. 

"I think our guys were ready to go, and they obviously know it's a challenge against Saint Mary's, but I thought we were prepared. We started the game with a great game plan and physically we were up to the task. We got behind late and just didn't make a few plays that we needed to. Hopefully, though, our guys can take a lot of confidence from that game even though it was a loss."

The possibility of meeting Saint Mary's in the West Coast Conference tournament was discussed with coach Rose saying he'd enjoy another match-up but knows it'd be another tough game. He hopes the guys would be confident going into that game but said the team would have to work to get a good game plan. 

Coach Rose also spent some time previewing next week's games against No. 2 Gonzaga and Loyola Marymount. Gonzaga is the highest-ranked team to play in the Marriott Center. 

"Hopefully the fans will be treated to a great game against Gonzaga. I can promise that the Zags are ever-bit deserving of that high ranking, and I think it's going to be a fun one in the Marriott Center. This will be an interesting week with the two teams we're playing so we'll have to be consistent in our preparation. Consistency is a huge factor for our confidence."

Senior Brock Zylstra joined the show in the later half, talking about life in the WCC and the end of his senior career at BYU. Coach Rose talked about how he first met Zylstra and why they decided to bring him onto the team. Zylstra answered questions from fans before his segment finished.

Coach Rose finished the show by also answering fan questions.

Listen to the full show on KSL.com and don't miss coach Rose in Legends Grille on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. MST. 

Only one more round of coach's shows is left. Sunday night on KSL 5 TV at 11 p.m. and next Tuesday night on KSL radio at 7 p.m.

UP CLOSE with Candace Eddy Carlisle

Feb 27, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 3:46 pm | Updated: February 27, 2013 4:17 pm | Permalink

When it comes to one thing Candace Eddy Carlisle would change or add to the BYU campus, she is all about practicality.

"I would definitely ask for cheaper and more reliable printing," she said. "Free would be nice."

The distance runner from Kaysville, Utah, also feels there are too many wonderful things in life to have just one favorite when it comes to movies, musicians, bands, etc.

Remember, this is not the end. Read more...

Height- 5-4 

Major- Communication disorders

Track and field events- Mile, 1500 meters, 3K

Reason for attending BYU...

"I came here because of the excellent academics, athletics and atmosphere."

Favorite movie...

"There are several: Lion King, Dan in Real Life, What about Bob, Hitch."

Best place to eat in Provo-

"I like lots of different foods, so any place that is not fast food and as long as I have good company."

Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight...

"Call me crazy, but I have not read any of them."

If you could be doing anything in 10 years it would be...

"A wife, mother and maybe have a part-time job volunteering with the Special Olympics."

Funniest member of the BYU track team and why...

"There is no way I can just pick one, but here are the first that come to mind: Andrea Nelson Harrison, Lindsey Sowards Nielson and Jennica Redd."

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show...

"I want that."  -Napoleon Dynamite

"I feel good about that." -Jennica Redd

"Can't be replaced." -Sarah Darby

Hidden Talent...

"I am working on that, but for now, let's just say I am good at trying new things."

Favorite pro sports team...

"Sometimes, whoever my husband is cheering for, and other times whoever he is cheering against."

If you had a time machine, when/where would you go and why...

"I would go to the afterlife, but without the physical death part."

Best athlete in any sport at BYU...

"I do not know many of them personally, and I could name quite a few. However, I am going to stick with Shaylynn Baugh Fuller and Kathryn Vidmar. They may not be star athletes, but they sure love what they do, share a contagious sport spirit, and believe in their teammates!"

Favorite musical artist/band...

"Again, I have several: Keith Urban, Jason Mraz, Rascal Flatts, Journey, Shania Twain, One Direction."

Most embarrassing moment...

To keep it short, I wet my pants during a race in high school and had to run passed the whole guys team."

Something most people do not know about you...

"Well, if I were to tell and make it public, that would make it untrue."

Favorite inspirational quote...

"God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability." 
–Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Video: Craig Cusick's journey

Feb 26, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Craft Jordan at 2:43 pm | Updated: February 26, 2013 3:14 pm | Permalink

Senior walk-on Craig Cusick hit the buzzer beater in BYU's 70-68 win over Utah State just a few hours after finding out his father had been diagnosed with cancer. 

BYUtv featured Craig in one of their recent videos, and also included an extended video with words from teammate Brock Zylstra and assistant coach Tim LaComb about Craig and the Cusick family. 

See both videos below.

Cancer can affect everyone, and certainly the BYU basketball team is no exception. BYU head coach Dave Rose is a cancer survivor, surviving a cancer scare in June of 2009.

Ezekiel Ansah impresses at NFL Scouting Combine

Feb 25, 2013 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 4:03 pm | Updated: February 26, 2013 1:55 pm | Permalink

Former BYU defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah worked out for NFL scouts, coaches and other NFL personnel at the NFL Scouting Combine on Monday in Indianapolis.

"Ziggy" Ansah, who measured in at just over 6-foot-5 and 271 pounds, was one of 53 defensive linemen invited to this year's combine. The Ghana native ran a 4.63 40-yard dash to turn heads at workouts, coming in at No. 6 among all defensive linemen. Of the five players recording times faster than Ansah, only one weighed more than 250 pounds. Ansah's 10-yard split of 1.56 seconds was also among the top defensive line marks.

In the 20-yard shuttle drill, Ansah had the best time among all defensive linemen with 4.26 seconds and finished the three cone drill in 7.11 seconds, good for 10th among the defensive linemen.

Ansah posted a vertical jump of 34.5 inches, tied for No. 7 among defensive lineman. He also recorded a broad jump of 9 feet, 10 inches (118.0 inches) and put up 21 reps on the bench press.

Receiving a lot of attention throughout the day, check out Ansah's interview on the NFL Network, his 40-yard dash and some additional comments on Ansah from NFL Network commentators.

Ansah interview at NFL Combine on NFL Network

Ansah runs 40-yard dash

Ansah's draft potential

BYU Coach's Show: Sunday 2/24

Feb 25, 2013 - Posted by Whitney Craft Jordan at 12:38 pm | Permalink

Live from the KSL 5 TV studios, coach Dave Rose began his weekly coach's show with a full recap of last week's games. Last week BYU defeated Utah State 70-68 and fell to Saint Mary's 64-57 on the road. 

"I think our win at home definitely gave us some momentum going into that Saint Mary's game. We couldn't quite get it done but we'll be looking forward to another oppourtunity to play them, hopefully, in the conference tournament."

Against Utah State Rose said he couldn't have imagined a better ending, with Craig Cusick hitting the buzzer beater after earlier that day he found out his father had cancer. Cusick finished with four points in the game and a team-high five rebounds. Tyler Haws's performance was also recognized - the sophomore finished with 27 points, making a career-high 14 trips to the free-throw line and finishing 12 of them. 

"Good win for our guys - but, on a personal note, a great win for Craig after such a tough day."

Coach Rose said he thought the team was ready against Saint Mary's and, defensively, it was one of their best games. Against the Gaels, Brandon Davies' 25 points were praised as the one offensive constant throughout the game. 

Later in the show, Davies' ability to be effective in the post and how the team runs their offense through him was discussed by coach Rose. 

And to wrap up the show, coach Rose talked about how the rest of the West Coast Conference teams are shaping up and what's next on the schedule for BYU. 

Watch the full show on KSL.com and don't miss coach Rose on KSL 5 TV every Sunday night at 11 p.m. MST.

 

Braden Brown performs well at NFL Scouting Combine

Feb 23, 2013 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 4:27 pm | Updated: February 23, 2013 8:37 pm | Permalink

Former BYU offensive tackle Braden Brown is in Indianapolis participating in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. Brown is one of 58 offensive lineman invited to the combine. 

Brown, who measured at 6-foot-5.5 inches and 310 pounds, participated in workouts on Friday and Saturday and performed in the top 25 consistently during the combine. He recorded a time of 7.43 seconds in the three-cone drill, which ranked No. 5 overall among offensive lineman. The top time was Jeff Baca of UCLA at 7.26. Baca also had the top 20-yard shuttle time at 4.44 seconds along with Eric Fisher of Central Michigan. Brown ranked No. 15 at 4.7 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle.  

A Salt Lake City native, Brown ran a 5.2-second 40-yard dash to rank No. 19 overall among all offensive lineman timed and also ranked 19th with a vertical jump of 28 inches. Terron Armstead of Arkansas-Pine Bluff achieved the top marks in both categories with a 4.71 40-yard dash and 34.5 vertical jump.  

Brown did 26 reps on the bench press, which ranked 23rd overall. Ohio's Eric Herman totaled 36 reps to lead the way. Brown's 100-inch broad jump ranked 26th with Lane Johnson of Oklahoma having the top distance of 118 inches.

Joining Brown at the combine is BYU defensive lineman Ezekiel Ansah, who is scheduled for workouts on Monday in Indianapolis. 

To follow the combine results go to NFL.com.