Ralph R. Zobell | Posted: 25 Apr 2017 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Third-place Cougars could improve WCC standing vs. San Francisco

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As the topsy-turvy nature of the West Coast Conference baseball race continues, BYU hosts San Francisco in a three-game series starting Thursday.

The Cougars (22-14 overall and 11-4 WCC) could return to first place if they sweep USF and a loss were to happen to both league leaders Gonzaga and LMU. Winning the series against USF would give BYU its fifth tiebreaker over teams beneath its third-place standing.

With rain in the forecast, the  Cougars will meet the challenge from USF one game at a time.

“San Francisco is a well coached team and Coach Giarratano always has his guys ready to play," BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. "This will be a tough series and an important one for us as we look to stay in the top four in the conference."

The Cougars knocked league-leading San Diego out of first place by winning the series last week over the Toreros.

BYU is playing well as a team, with a couple of items of note. Brock Hale returned to the batting order last week after being out of the lineup all of April recuperating from an injury. Colton Shaver's batting average has climbed nearly 100 points from when league play began last month and he leads the team with a current seven-game hitting streak. Plus Tanner Chauncey is now No. 3 in the NCAA as the toughest batter to strike out.

Pitcher Brady Corless remains undefeated at 5-0 after fellow relievers and hitters rallied for a first-ever win at USD. Corless will start Friday’s game at 6 p.m. MDT and Maverik Buffo and Hayden Rogers are the Cougar starters for the opening and closing games of the USF series, respectively at 6 p.m. Thursday and 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Following the series with USF, BYU plays at Utah Valley on Tuesday in the UCCU Cross Town Clash, then travels to Santa Clara.

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