Quest For Top Rung

Jeff Hiestand is expected to return back to the lineup after missing three of the last six games. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

Both UNLV and BYU are tied for first place at 8-1 in the Mountain West Conference as the two baseball teams meet this Thursday at Las Vegas.

BYU (21-7-1) has a three-game series at UNLV (14-19).

"One of us will have a chance to set the tone for the rest of the season," said BYU Coach Vance Law of the series with the Rebels.

The Cougars are ahead of school record pace in doubles, averaging 2.86 with its tally of 83 in 29 games. The first-time NCAA statistics of the season come out next Monday after the UNLV-BYU series.

BYU will start Dave Horlacher (2-1, 3.60) in Thursday's game against Matt Luca (3-4, 3.88). Cougar Brandon Christiansen (3-0,3.38) will start Friday's game against Koji Pupo (3-0, 3.25). Both games Thursday and Friday will start at 6:30 p.m., PDT. And in Saturday's 2 p.m., tilt, BYU will throw freshman Blake Torgerson (4-1, 5.23) against Derek Rodriguez (1-4, 5.05).

BYU is hoping to be at full strength going into the series with UNLV now that Jeff Hiestand is back after missing three of the last six games with a wrist injury and two players, Ben Saylor and Casey Nelson, missed most of last week's games with strep.

All of the BYU-UNLV games will be broadcast live on KOVO Radio (960 AM).

Following the series with UNLV, the Cougars return to host Lewis and Clark State on Tuesday at 3 p.m., before hosting pre-season favorite San Diego State in a three-game series.

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.

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Quest-For-Top-Rung.pdf8.94 MB