Home at last after 18 games, BYU's baseball team begins its season at Miller Park this Thursday when it hosts UNLV.
The Cougars, 6-12 overall and 1-2 in the Mountain West Conference, start a three-game series with UNLV, 16-7 and 3-0, on Thursday at 7 p.m. Junior Jeff Mousser (3-1, 5.11) is scheduled to start the 2003 home campaign on the mound.
The Rebels are the only MWC team that has been receiving votes in national polls. BYU is scheduled to throw Paul Jacinto (1-4, 4.89) against UNLV in Friday's game at 7 p.m. Game time has changed for Saturday's contest to 2 p.m., because of the BYU Spring Football Game at noon and Ken Gravley (1-1, 5.92) is the anticipated starter.
"After what seems like two months on the road, it is nice to finally be home," says Coach Vance Law, who leads BYU into its second full season at Larry H. Miller Field. "We start defending our championship at home. They are a good team and are off to a good start, so we have our work cut out."
Among the hot Cougar batters are Rob Itri, Jake Stubblefield and Doug Jackson. Itri improved his batting average to .325 by batting .667 in last week's action. Stubblefield batted .538 last week, while Jackson was .533.
In last week's series at New Mexico, Jackson broke the BYU career triples record by hitting a pair to boost his total to 20. Jackson's five triples this season is half-way to the school season record of 10.
This week's UNLV games are the first of 17 hosted by the Cougars this season at Larry H. Miller Field where they have a 24-12 record the past two years. The three games will be broadcast live over KOVO Radio (960 AM), with Thursday and Friday's games making the inaugural appearance also as live audiocasts on the Internet. For links to those games, please visit www.byucougars.com.
Following the series with UNLV, BYU plays next week at Southern Utah before returning to league play at the University of Utah.