Fans can vote for Bret Lopez, pictured with Hayden Nielsen and other Cougars, via Facebook through http://bit.ly/votebret. (Photo by BYU Photo/Meagan Larsen)
Highlights for the 2014 BYU baseball season include Kolton Mahoney's no-hitter at Nicholls State and other victories.
“It was a year of ups and downs highlighted by Kolton's no hitter at Nicholls State, but we just lacked the depth on both sides of the ball to put together a consistent winning streak,” said second-year mentor Mike Littlewood, who coached his 100th game this past season for the Cougars.
A 1-0 Cougar upset at then No. 18 Pepperdine, beating Washington State before 3,360 fans on the road and a pair defeats over Utah to secure the Deseret First Duel baseball trophy account for part of the 22-31 record.
Kelton Caldwell's two school-record-tying triples in the 20-3 defeat of Utah provided the impetus for the 38-21 run differential so BYU could claim the Duel as the rivals split the four-game series.
The Cougars' 12-15 record in West Coast Conference play fell short of a repeat to the post-season tournament. Along with Pepperdine, other teams on BYU's schedule that advanced to the NCAA Tournament were Kansas, Dallas Baptist and College World Series participants TCU and Texas Tech.
Individual honors included Mahoney winning national and regional selections for his no-hitter. Dillon Robinson was the only WCC player voted to the Capitol One Academic All-District team. Robinson missed 14 games during the season due to injury, but led the team with a .369 batting average.
Joining Mahoney with WCC Pitcher of the Week honors was junior Jeff Barker. Mahoney was drafted in the 23rd round by the Milwaukee Brewers and Brazil missionary Tanner Chauncey was drafted in the 35th round.
The Cougars swept Portland, won series over Pacific, Loyola Marymount and Seattle, who played BYU in St. George.
“I appreciated the fact that the guys battled to the end and never gave up, which was evident in the way we played at Portland the last series of the year,” Littlewood said.
Designated hitter Bret Lopez, one of six seniors for BYU, was a finalist in the balloting for the TD Ameritrade Fan’s Choice Award and finished second in the voting.