Third-seeded BYU plays No. 4 seed New Mexico in the final game of Wednesday's opening round in the Mountain West Conference Baseball Tournament at Albuquerque, N.M.
The defending champion Cougars, 28-22 overall and 18-12 to tie for second in the MWC, faces host UNM, 34-24 and 17-13. If BYU beats the Lobos, it will face the winner of No. 2 seed San Diego State/No. 5 seed Utah on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. If the Cougars lose in the opening round to UNM, it will play the winner of the UNLV/Air Force game on Thursday at 3 p.m.
Righthanded junior Paul Jacinto (9-5, 3.96) gets the nod to start as BYU's pitcher in a probable matchup against UNM's James Vermilyea (7-3, 4.07). Jacinto has typically been BYU's second-game starter in the three-game series format through the league's regular season. The Cougar junior set an MWC record for conference games with a .222 opposing batting average.
"New Mexico is a big challenge for us as they have had a very good year," said BYU Coach Vance Law. "Vermilyea (James) is one of the top pitchers in the area and we have our work cut out for us against him. We have to continue to swing the bats well."
The double elimination tournament concludes with the championship on Saturday. The BYU games will be broadcast live on KOVO Radio 960 AM and with live audiocasts and livestats through links on www.byucougars.com.
The MWC and College Sports Television (www.cstv.com), the first 24-hour college sports network, reached an agreement to televise live selected games of the 2003 MWC Baseball Championship. Two second-round conference tournament games will be televised live on CSTV on Thursday, May 22 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. (MST). A recap of that day's 11 a.m. (MST) game, with highlights, will air on CSTV from 2:30-3 p.m. (MST). CSTV is currently available to a national audience via DirecTV on channel 610.