Poised for a run at the title, BYU's baseball team meets league front runner UNLV in a three-game series at Las Vegas this week.
The Cougars, now 19-17 and 11-7 in the Mountain West Conference, travel to face No. 20 UNLV, 32-11 and 15-3. Should the Cougars pull off a three game sweep at UNLV, it would still leave them a game behind the Rebels.
The Cougars swept the Rebels in three games last year at Las Vegas to begin conference play. UNLV has a five-game winning streak since losing once at Utah earlier this month.
Final exams began last Friday at BYU, which has affected practices. With BYU's graduation and convocation on Thursday and Friday, BYU pitcher Jason Garcia will matriculate in sociology and consequently will miss the Cougars' series in Las Vegas.
The probable pitching rotation remains the same as in recent weeks for the Cougars. Juniors Jeff Mousser (4-4, 4.96) and Paul Jacinto (6-4, 4.22) get the assignment on the mound for Thursday and Friday's games, respectively. Those contests begin at 6:30 p.m., PDT. On Saturday, freshman southpaw Ken Gravley (3-1, 4.62) will take the hill at 2 p.m., PDT.
When the two teams last met in Provo a month ago, UNLV won the first and last games of the series. The opening game was a 6-5 decision, now one of the 11 one-run contests for the Cougars who have claimed two victories in those close tilts. Only Jacinto was victorious against the Rebels as he remains undefeated in league games at 6-0.
This is BYU's next-to-last road trip of the regular season, as the Cougars will host eight games in a row, then travel to Air Force before the MWC Tournament at Albuquerque, N.M. The BYU-UNLV games will be broadcast live locally over KOVO Radio 960 AM, the later two of which will also be audiocast. All of the UNLV games will be on the Internet audiocast through its station.