Ralph R. Zobell | Posted: 10 Apr 2017 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

First-place BYU has four games in the valley this week

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First-place BYU baseball ascended to the top rung in the West Coast Conference over the weekend and hopes to maintain that perch this week.

“We’ve been playing very solid baseball the last two or three weeks and hope to continue that as we open up an important week with Utah Valley and Pepperdine,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said.

The Cougars (17-12 overall and 7-2 in WCC) play at Utah Valley University (11-19) on Tuesday in the UCCU Crosstown Clash, then host Pepperdine (16-15, 5-4) in a three-game series beginning on Thursday.

Jordan Wood (1-0, 5.40) will be BYU’s starting pitcher at UVU at 6 p.m. start. Maverik Buffo (4-3, 4.91) and Brady Corless (4-0, 3.68) start against Pepperdine on Thursday and Friday 6 p.m., respectively. And Hayden Rogers (3-1, 2.14) will start in Saturday’s game at 1 p.m. against the Waves.

Tri-captain Tanner Chauncey leads the Cougars with a current eight-game hitting streak. Tri-captain Bronson Larsen leads the regulars in the lineup with a .340 batting average and a team-high six home runs, including a grand slam to start the three-game sweep at Pacific last week.

The Cougars have swept their last two league opponents and a win on Tuesday would make a season-best four-game win streak.

Should Corless win on Friday, he could become one of 17 pitchers in BYU history to achieve a 5-0 start. Relievers Keaton Cenatiempo and Mason Marshall performed well last weekend. Cenatiempo earned his fourth save of the season. Marshall got his first save which ranks him No. 2 in career saves, one away from tying former Major League pitcher Ryan Hancock at 15.

Pepperdine is coming off a 16-inning 2-1 loss last Sunday at Portland in a game deadlocked at 0-0 through 15 innings.

BYU plays at Utah and at the University of San Diego next week

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