With both Utah and BYU tied at 2-4 in the league baseball standings, this week's three-game series between the rivals could decide a lot.
The Cougars, 9-14 overall, are hosted by the Utes, 11-12, in a renewal of the rivalry starting Thursday night at 6 p.m. Friday's game time has been changed to 7 p.m. And the two teams will finish the games at Franklin Covey Field on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The probable BYU pitching rotation will be Jeff Mousser (3-2, 5.09) on Thursday, Paul Jacinto (2-4, 4.15) on Friday and Ken Gravley (1-1, 6.52) on Saturday.
"From here on out every series is big for us, but against Utah it's always bigger because of who they are," said BYU Coach Vance Law. "We expect a hard-fought battle against them."
BYU leads the series with Utah at 181-84-1, but Utah leads 17-15 in games that have been played at the AAA ballpark since 1987. BYU won the bookends of last year's three-game series in Provo, but only won the front end of the series at Utah. The teams are scheduled to play this season in Provo on May 1-3.
BYU was picked to finish second in the pre-season MWC poll, while the Utes were pegged fourth.
Jacinto was named Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Week for his nine-inning one-hitter he tossed last Friday against UNLV. Mousser has twice been named MWC Pitcher of the Week this season. The last time a BYU pitcher threw a no-hitter was in 1989, and that was a seven-inning no-hitter. The last time BYU had a one-hitter was in 1997 against Mesa State, the second game of the season.
One of the hot bats on BYU's team is senior Doug Jackson. Jackson is now up to 22 career triples as he extends the BYU and MWC record.
All of the BYU-Utah games will be broadcast live over KOVO Radio 960 AM and can also be heard through links on the Internet at www.byucougars.com.