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, Rhett 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.”