UNLV Series Opens MWC Play

First pitch in the Mountain West Conference opener will be thrown by BYU as it starts a three-game series Monday at UNLV.

The rest of the six-team league starts on the weekend. The Cougars begin their defense of the MWC title, then conclude in Provo in May with the conference tournament.

BYU, 5-11, has rested over a week after returning from Hawaii and has been able to practice outdoors for the first time since November in Provo.

"We hope to start off on the right foot after having a good series in Hawaii," said BYU Coach Vance Law. "We were just starting to play well as a team. Hopefully we'll be able to turn around and start winning some of our close games."

Starting on the mound for Monday evening's game at UNLV will be Scott Koffman (1-2, 6.75). In Tuesday's split doubleheader, Jeff Mousser (2-1, 3.20) will start the afternoon game and Ryan Adams (0-3, 7.89) will start the nightcap.

"We used this time off to catch up in class, took time to run drills in practice and heal from injuries," said Law.

At least one injury, however, is forcing Law to make a couple of defensive changes. At third base will be transfer Jack Stubblefield and at second will be returned missionary Rob Itri.

Stubblefield is subbing for injured Kainoa Obrey, a pre-season All American who is hopeful his injured back will land him a medical hardship redshirt at the end of the season.

Matt Carson continues to lead the team with a .410 batting average. He also leads the team in hits, triples, home runs, RBI and being hit by pitches. He has recorded four assists from his position in right field.

UNLV had a 9-8 record prior to a four-game weekend series at Arizona State in a tournament which also featured St. John's and Oklahoma State.

Following the UNLV series, BYU will bus home for a day in class before flying to the University of Washington for a three-game non-conference series.

Monday's UNLV game (7:30 p.m. MST) will be broadcast live locally on KOVO Radio (960 AM) to start the first of several MWC games with veteran Cougar announcer Brent Norton. KOVO will also broadcast Tuesday's 3 p.m. MST game. Fans can listen to the evening games on Monday and Tuesday also on the Internet at http://unlvrebels.fansonly.com/sports/m-basebl/unlv-m-basebl-sched.html.

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