Deseret Duel starts busy week

(Photo by Deseret First Duel)

A rematch in the Deseret Duel Tuesday against Utah in Provo precedes BYU baseball’s return to league action this week at Gonzaga.

The Cougars, 19-15 overall and 7-5 in the West Coast Conference, host Utah (16-19) on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Desmond Poulson (5-0, 2.14) will start for one inning in the rematch against Utah. The rotation is set for the three-game series at first-place Gonzaga (26-11-1 and 13-5 in the WCC). Poulson, Jeff Barker (3-2, 3.93) and Adam Miller (2-6, 5.98) are scheduled to throw in that order starting Thursday at Spokane, Wash.

But first up is Utah who beat the Cougars 5-4 in 10 innings last month in Salt Lake City.  The Deseret Duel baseball points are still up for grabs in the four-game series.  BYU has won four of the five Deseret Duel baseball portions, with the Utes winning in 2011 on run differential.

“The next series we play is going to be one of the toughest series we play all year,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said.  “We need to go up there and find a way to sneak a game or two from Gonzaga. The goal would be to be above .500 when we come back home, that would be huge for us.”

The Cougars have been idle from competition for over a week due to final exams. The time off has been beneficial for the return of catcher Dakota Hernandez who broke his thumb 16 games into the season after starting nine of those contests.  Hernandez’ return comes just in time as his replacement Jarrett Jarvis, who started the past 18 games, will be sidelined from a broken fibula in a collision successfully defending the plate in BYU’s last action.

The Utah and Gonzaga games will be broadcast live locally on KOVO Radio 960 AM, on Satellite Radio Sirius 143 and streamed on the Internet.

The next BYU home game after the Utah tilt is on May 9 after the Cougars play the Utes in Salt Lake City on May 7. The Cougars play in Orem at Utah Valley University on April 30.

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