Nationally-ranked Cal State Fullerton hosts BYU's baseball team in a three-game series beginning Thursday.
The Cougars, now 6-4, bus from Provo to California on Wednesday in preparation for the games. Scheduled to start Thursday's 7 p.m. (PST) game is junior Ryan Adams (2-0, 2.77).
In Friday's marquee game televised by Orange County Cable also at 7 p.m., is Cougar ace Nate Fernley (4-0, 1.64). The senior righthander from Long Beach, Calif., was selected earlier this week as the national pitcher of the week by Collegiate Baseball magazine. He has pitched two complete games this season and fanned 49 batters.
"Nate Fernley pitched the best college game I have seen against Cal," said BYU Coach Vance Law. "He had them baffled with his good command in a dominating performance."
On Saturday at 1 p.m. (PST), either Jeff Stearman (0-2, 4.15) or Jeff Stone (0-0, 1.80) will be on the mound for the Cougars.
The Titans, who are 3-5, are currently ranked as high as No. 15 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN.
The Titans will have more to worry about than Fernley. BYU sophomore Matt Carson raised his batting average from .304 to .391 last week as he extended his hitting streak to 20 games. He was a double shy of a cycle in one game last week and a homer short of the cycle in the next game.
When Carson doesn't speak with his bat, the rightfielder's cannon arm can make some noise, too. At San Francisco, when a runner tried to extend a third inning one-out single, Carson threw him out. He was also three-of-four in stolen bases in the last five games.
While the Cougars are away, BYU fans can attend a public openhouse on Saturday at Miller Park. Cougar Club members are invited to go on this tour Saturday from 3-4 p.m., followed by the general public from 4-6:30 prior to the New Mexico men's basketball game.
Cougar catcher Lars Birkeland is out of action for the next three weeks due to a broken toe.
The BYU-Cal Fullerton games will be carried on the Internet through Yahoo! Broadcast.com...the URL is www.broadcast.com/sports/ncaa/CalStateFullerton/Baseball/