Several baseball items are at stake in this week's marquee matchup at league-leading San Diego State against second-place BYU.
Most importantly is the conference standing, where an Aztec sweep could widen the distance for pre-season favorite SDSU to a six-game lead. The two teams first need to make up a suspended game from March in Provo as BYU trails 11-10 going into the ninth inning.
A split in the four games keeps SDSU with its two-game lead, while BYU could claim a two-game lead with a sweep. Whoever emerges with the upper hand could end up with a better seed next month when the Mountain West Tournament comes to Provo.
The Aztecs brought a 29-12 overall record with a seven-game winning streak into the week and have an 11-3 record in the MWC. The Cougars, 16-91-1 and 9-5, are hoping to make up for the two games they lost to SDSU in Provo and taint the No. 28 ranking the Aztecs now carry in the Collegiate Baseball magazine poll.
The suspended game will start at 6 p.m. PDT on Thursday and will be carried live in Utah over KOVO Radio (960 AM) along with the other three games in San Diego. BYU Coach Vance Law has not revealed who will start on the mound in the suspended game where he has already used Scott Koffman and Paul Jacinto, with James Ray being the final pitcher in Provo. Also not eligible to play in the suspended game for BYU is freshman centerfielder Ryan Chambers because he was substituted out of the game in Provo.
Chambers is still a question mark for the remaining three games at San Diego as he is recovering from a pulled hamstring last week. SDSU could start its ace reliever Royce Ring who was on the mound in Provo when the game was suspended. Ring is ranked number one in the nation with 10 saves and the lefty could pick up his 11th with an Aztec victory in the suspended game.
Scheduled to start Thursday's nine-inning game after the suspended game is Jeff Mousser (6-2, 3.70). Ryan Adams (3-4, 7.49) is the probable starter for Friday's game which also starts at 6 p.m. PDT. Jacinto (2-1,5.93) is scheduled to start Saturday's game which begins at 1 p.m. PDT.
"We are taking this one game at a time and hopefully can bounce back and score in the suspended game," said Law. "We should have won easily in game three at Provo, but now we have to come back. This could be a great week for us, but they are a strong team and we need to take care of what we can."
All of BYU's games this week are also available on the Internet audiocast through SDSU's website at http://goaztecs.fansonly.com/sports/m-basebl/sched/sdsu-m-basebl-sched.html.