PROVO, Utah - Midway through West Coast Conference play, BYU baseball will travel to Seattle to play a non-conference series against the Washington Huskies.
While not affecting the league standings where the Cougars are currently one game behind LMU, the three-game series could provide a boost to BYU's RPI and potential at-large NCAA Tournament hopes, if needed. Currently sitting at an RPI of 40 with a 24-9 record, wins on the road against the Huskies—who come into the series at 16-15 with an RPI of 61—would strengthen BYU's résumé even more going into the final stretch of the season.
The Cougars lead the all-time series, 21-13-1, but have not played the Huskies since 2011. BYU is looking to add to its four wins over three Power 5 teams this year, having already defeated Northwestern (twice), Ohio State and Oregon.
On the mound, BYU will start senior Jordan Wood (4-1, 4.53), sophomore Easton Walker (4-0, 0.82) and sophomore Justin Sterner (6-3, 3.00) this weekend. Wood is looking for the 16th win of his career on Thursday against Washington's Jordan Jones (2-4, 5.37) who most recently allowed just three earned runs in 5.1 innings with seven strikeouts but took a loss at No. 5 Stanford.
Walker, BYU's Friday starter, is second in the nation with a 0.82 ERA in 44 innings pitched. Walker went the first 34 innings of the year without an earned run before allowing two in each of his last two outings. He'll be opposite the Huskies' Josh Burgmann (3-2, 2.62) who won his first three decisions before losing the last two at Arizona and at Stanford.
Sterner will start Saturday, coming in tied for 20th in the nation with six wins; only two underclassmen in the country have more. Washington's starter will be a game-time decision.
In the Cougar bullpen, Reid McLaughlin has the top ERA of any freshman in the country, currently sitting at 1.54. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native is 5-0 with two saves this year in 15 relief appearances.
BYU senior right fielder Brock Hale comes into the series with the ninth-best slugging percentage (.605) among active Division I players; he’s also 10th with a .460 on-base percentage and 16th with a .358 batting average.
Sophomore shortstop Jackson Cluff is 35th in the nation averaging 1.21 RBIs per game; he leads the team with 40 RBIs, 37 runs, 12 doubles and an on-base percentage of .484. Senior infielder Brian Hsu leads BYU with a .383 batting average and is 42nd in the country averaging 1.53 hits per game.
Games one and two will begin at 6 p.m. PT with game three starting at 1 p.m. PT. All three games can be seen live via online streaming at gohuskies.com or can be heard on BYU Radio and ESPN 960.