After being chased most of the season as the baseball frontrunner, it's BYU's turn to chase the league-leader as UNLV comes to town for a three-game series which begins on Thursday.
The Cougars are 33-15-1 and 17-7 in the Mountain West Conference after dropping two of three last weekend in Provo to New Mexico. UNLV is 25-24 overall, above .500 for the first time in weeks, and 19-5 in the MWC for a two-game lead over BYU.
A sweep over UNLV would put the Cougars back in first place. BYU took two of three at UNLV last month. At stake is the regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the MWC Tournament on May 26 which gets a bye from the May 25 games vs. lowest seed to advance from the opening day. The No. 2 seed also gets a bye on the opening day, but will play a higher-seeded team to advance.
UNLV was the preseason pick to finish third in the MWC, but has won the past two consecutive league tournaments.
Thursday and Friday's games vs. UNLV will begin at 7 p.m., with Dave Horlacher (5-2, 3.91) and Lance Beus (1-1, 5.40) getting the starts, respectively, on the mound for BYU. Friday's game will be televised live by KBYU-TV (Channel 11) locally and delayed on Saturday at 11 a.m., nationally by BYUTV with Jay Monsen and Gary Sheide calling the action. Saturday's starter at noon is freshman Blake Torgerson (6-2, 6.28).
Among the Cougar leaders is first baseman Jeff Hiestand who has the team's season-best 27-game current hitting streak, shy of the school record 32 by Cory Snyder.
The games versus UNLV are the final home games of BYU's regular season.
All of the games will be broadcast live over KOVO Radio 960 AM.
A multi-page release can be found by downloading the PDF file at the top of this story, which gives a detailed analysis of the Cougars.