Cougars Make Third Trip to California

Looking to end a three-game skid, BYU begins a three-game series at San Jose State University on Thursday.

The Cougars (2-9) return to California for the third time after being swept by UC Riverside last week. Head coach Vance Law said he's surprised by the slow start but isn't worried. In 2002, BYU began the season 2-10, but it ended up winning the conference tournament and making a strong appearance in the NCAA Regional Tournament in Los Angeles.

"We have the personalities who are capable of doing well," Law said. "We've played teams that if we played the way we can play, we should've won."

Probable pitching starters for the San Jose series are Patrick Wells (1-2, 5.59) on Thursday, Paul Jacinto (0-4, 7.33) on Friday and Justin Su'a (1-1, 5.73) on Saturday. Game times are 6 p.m. (PST) on Thursday and Friday and 1 p.m. (PST) on Saturday.

Su'a earned the Cougars' lone win last week in a relief appearance against Santa Clara. He then started his first collegiate game on Feb. 13, taking a 4-2 loss to UC Riverside.

Three Cougars currently have a batting average over .300. Rob Itri leads the pack with his .316 average. Ben Saylor had a 10-game hitting streak snapped in the final game against Riverside last Saturday. The longest current hitting streak now belongs to Jeff Hiestand who is at five games.

Hiestand and Brandon Taylor both made impressive offensive strides last week. Hiestand increased his batting average from .143 to .300. In games against Santa Clara and UC Riverside, Hiestand went 5-for-13 with three RBI.

Riding his offensive showcase in an 11-10 win over Santa Clara last week, Taylor had a .682 slugging percentage for the week. The sophomore's two-homer game on Feb. 10 doubled his 2001 freshman total at UVSC in 52 games.

San Jose State started its season 3-3-1. The Spartans are coming off a three-game series at UC Santa Barbara where they one two of three. The Cougars are 6-7 all-time against their former Western Athletic Conference opponent. BYU last played San Jose in a three-game series at Provo in 1999 where the Cougars won two out of three.

None of the games in the series are available for live stats or web casts.

AttachmentSize
Cougars-Make-Third-Trip-to-California.pdf175.85 KB