No. 27 Loyola Marymount is BYU baseball’s foe in Thursday’s opening round of the West Coast Conference Tournament at Stockton, California.
BYU (33-18) won a second-consecutive tri-championship title, tying with LMU and Gonzaga with 20-7 league marks. The trio is joined by Saint Mary’s College in this week’s WCC tourney, with the winner getting the automatic berth for next week’s NCAA Tournament.
"We obviously didn't finish the regular season the way we wanted, but we've had a great season up to this point and look to get back to playing Cougar baseball this week,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said.
Three-straight losses at Gonzaga knocked the Cougars out of the national rankings as they fell short of winning one game to claim the outright WCC regular-season crown.
The starting pitcher for third-seeded BYU against LMU (No. 2 seed) has yet to be named as Littlewood could choose from any of this normal three-man rotation: Maverik Buffo (6-6, 6.26), Brady Corless (6-0, 5.13) or Hayden Rogers (7-2, 3.87).
Buffo was the winning pitcher in March at LMU, Corless didn’t pitch in the series and Rogers pitched well in the third contest where the Lions’ Cory Abbott threw a perfect game.
The winner of Thursday’s game advances to play on Friday against the winner of No. 1 seed Gonzaga and No. 4 seed SMC at 3:30 p.m. PDT. The loser of Thursday’s game plays on Friday at noon PDT in the double-elimination tournament. Every game of the tournament will all be streamed live and available free of charge on TheW.tv, powered by Campus Insiders. Steve Quis (play-by-play), Keith Ramsey (analyst) and Meghan von Behren (on-field reporting) will call all the action live from Banner Island Ballpark.
BYU had five players named honorable mention to the All-WCC Academic team: Bo Burrup, Nate Favero, Brock Hale, Kendall Motes and Jordan Wood. Hale is ranked No. 16 in the NCAA for runs per game at 1.12 and No. 17 in slugging percentage at .681.