Both second-seeded BYU and No. 1 TCU get first-round byes in this week's Mountain West Conference Tournament at Las Vegas.
Ironically these two teams are the only ones who have faced the other teams three times, while the other four teams have played each other six times this season (TCU played Air Force and BYU six times, and BYU played UNLV and TCU six times). The Cougars' first opponent on day two of the tourney will be either Utah, New Mexico or San Diego State, but not host UNLV.
BYU, 35-18 overall and 17-7 in the MWC for second place, begins play on Thursday at 11 a.m., PDT. None of BYU's team sport impressive numbers individually, but collectively has lost only six of the past 27 games since the beginning of April.
"We stressed from day one last Fall that it is always a team effort," said BYU Coach Vance Law. "One of our strengths is our execution as this young team has developed. We have a well-balanced attack and have created a bit of momentum going this tournament."
The Cougars just finished a three-game sweep of rival Utah and the first-round bye provides some needed rest.
"It's an advantage because you use one less starter from our pitchers," said Law, whose pitchers have fashioned a 3.69 team ERA, the best in 24 years at BYU. "Pitching has been a staple of our program this year."
BYU's pitching rotation depends on which opponent it will face, but Law says he could go with any of four on the mound. That foursome includes Jesse Craig (10-2, 2.80) and Jordan Muir (5-4, 5.10) or lefties ) Jake Wortham (7-4, 4.52) and Blaine Howell (2-2, 4.63).
All of BYU's games will be broadcast live over KOVO Radio 960 AM and televised live by The Mountain network.
For more information on BYU's baseball team for this week, click on the PDF link at the top of this page.