At least share of first place in the West Coast Conference is guaranteed for BYU baseball’s team that remains ranked No. 18 prior to hosting Utah Valley University on Tuesday night.
The Cougars (32-15 and 20-4 in the WCC) can win their first outright league title with one win in the three-game series at Gonzaga. But first BYU needs to finish out the home season against UVU (16-32) in the UCCU Crosstown Clash with Jordan Wood (4-0, 6.12) starting for the Cougars.
Gonzaga (28-17 and 17-7) is tied for second in the WCC with Loyola Marymount and could create a co- or tri- championship title with a sweep by either or both of these teams this week.
Currently the Cougars are seeded no worse than third for the WCC Tournament in two weeks at Stockton, California. A win by either Gonzaga or LMU would fill two of the remaining three spots for the tourney. San Diego and Saint Mary’s are still in contention for the fourth spot.
For the second week in a row, BYU is ranked No. 18 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball magazine. However, Cougar first baseman Tanner Chauncey dropped to No. 2 in the NCAA in the category toughest to strike out (now eight times in 194 at bats).
Sophomore Brock Hale became the second Cougar to earn Rawlings WCC Player of the Week honors, joining Keaton Kringlen. Hale has led the team in batting average since the end of February and had nine RBI last week, including home runs against Utah to start the week and in the final game against Portland.
At Gonzaga, the Cougars will continue with their three-man pitching rotation of Maverik Buffo (6-5, 5.37), Brady Corless (6-0, 4.91) and Hayden Rogers (7-1, 3.46). Saturday’s final game of the BYU-Gonzaga series will be televised nationally at 7:30 p.m. PDT by ESPNU with Roxy Bernstein and Wes Chandler as the announcers. The games on Thursday and Friday will start at 6 p.m. PDT. Friday’s game will be streamed on theW.tv with George Devine and Alex Jensen calling the action.