Junior Kolton Mahoney of BYU got national and league honors on Monday as the Cougars (14-17, 6-6 in WCC) prepare for this week’s baseball series at Loyola Marymount.
Mahoney was named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the week by Collegiate Baseball magazine and selected as the Rawlings West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week.
“Kolton has worked hard this spring to get better each outing and I believe we witnessed the result of that hard work last Thursday night,” coach Mike Littlewood said. “He gave us the start we needed to open up the Portland series.”
But first the Cougars host local rival Utah Valley University on Tuesday at 6 p.m., MDT, in a game televised live by BYUtv and broadcast live over BYU Radio.
“The Utah Valley game is always a big game from our perspective, especially as we enter a huge conference weekend at Loyola Marymount,” Littlewood said. “Coach Madsen will have his guys ready to play and I believe fans of both schools should expect to see a great game.”
The Cougars will start senor Jeff Barker against UVU, but then will circulate through a number of pitchers throwing each inning to get a workout and keep the staff fresh for the rest of the week.
Mahoney will be the starter in Thursday night’s game at LMU, but starters for the rest of the three-game series is TBA. Thursday and Friday’s games are at 6 p.m., PDT, while Saturday’s game is at 2 p.m., PDT. All of the LMU games will be broadcast live over ESPN Radio 960 AM and on BYU Radio.
Mahoney tied a school record with 15 strikeouts last week against Portland as he threw 141 pitches. He pitched eight of those innings, retiring Portland in order in the third (all swinging strikeouts), sixth and seventh innings. Mahoney had at least one strikeout every inning, including two in the second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Ten of those strikeouts were swinging. In the first inning he picked off a runner at first base.
Mahoney worked out of jams in the second and fifth innings when a pair of runners was left on base by striking out the final batter of the inning on called strikeouts. He also put San Diego State down in order in his one inning of relief, the eighth, when he picked up another strikeout. In total, Mahoney tallied 16 strikeouts in nine innings for the week, an average of 16.0. He lowered his ERA from 4.12 to 3.80 and improved his record to 3-3.