Attention is increasing for No. 22 BYU baseball after it regained first place in the West Coast Conference, and now the focus is on Tuesday’s game at Utah Valley University.
“We have a big week ahead beginning with Utah Valley on Tuesday and then a huge league series at Santa Clara,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We have a great opportunity to solidify our position in the top four and make a run at the league title. Santa Clara is playing well right now after taking three games at Pepperdine, so we really have our work cut out.”
The Cougars (25-14 and 14-4 WCC) also swept their opponent last weekend against San Francisco at home and are ranked for the first time this season at No. 22 by Collegiate Baseball. Santa Clara (11-31 and 7-11) also has a Tuesday game against No. 19 Arizona prior to hosting BYU.
Utah Valley brings a 15-26 record into the UCCU Crosstown Clash when it hosts the Cougars on Tuesday at 6 p.m. BYU will start Brady Corless (5-0, 4.50) as he hopes to get some work in before his Friday start at Santa Clara.
First baseman Tanner Chauncey is No. 1 in the nation in the category of toughest to strike out. In the month of April, Chauncey did not strike out at all in 67 at bats with 28 hits (.418 batting average), five walks and twice was hit by pitches. This season Chauncey has only struck out five times, the last being at Loyola Marymount. His other strikeouts came vs. Kennesaw State, Georgia State, San Jose State and UC Santa Barbara. He last struck out on March 25 in the final at bat of a 2-0 loss when Cory Abbott threw his perfect game. Had he not struck out at LMU, Chauncey would have extended his 18-game streak by seven more games.
Maverik Buffo (5-5, 4.99) will start for the Cougars on Thursday against Santa Clara at 6 p.m. PDT. Corless is scheduled to start on Friday at 6 p.m. and Hayden Rogers (5-1, 3.41) will start against the Broncos in Saturday’s finale at 1 p.m.
After the Santa Clara series BYU hosts Utah to start a five-game home stand and conclude the home season.