Cougars host Dons in three game series at Miller Park
PROVO, Utah — The Cougars returned to Miller Park Tuesday for the 2021 home season opener against Utah Valley after having played 32 of its previous 33 games on the road over the past two seasons. BYU (7-11, 3-0) defeated UVU 11-7 in the UCCU Crosstown Clash. The win marked the Cougars 10th-straight victory over the Wolverines.
BYU now turns its attention to the University of San Francisco for a three-game series at Miller Park Thursday through Saturday, March 25-27. The Thursday and Friday games are set for 4:00 p.m. MDT, with the Saturday matchup at 1:00 p.m. MDT.
All three games will be broadcast live on the BYUtv App as well as the BYU Sports Network—BYU Radio FM 107.9, BYUCougars.com and the BYU Cougars app. Ticket information can be found at BYUtickets.com.
BYU VS USF
The Cougars and Dons have met 33 times with BYU holding a 19-14 advantage in the series. Due to the 2020 pandemic, the conference foes last met during the 2019 regular season at BYU on May 9-11. BYU took games one (20-3) and three (17-9), while USF took game two (9-1). The Cougars would go on to finish the season 36-17 and win the WCC regular-season title with 18-9 conference record.
The Dons enter the weekend series in Provo having dropped two of three games in conference play against Pepperdine (2-16, 7-6, 8-10) last weekend. USF is currently tied for 6th place in the conference with Saint Mary's at 1-2.
Darius Foster leads the Dons in hitting (.341) and slugging percentage (.610). He is third in runs scored (10) and total bases (25). Jacob Munoz leads the team in RBIs (17) and total bases (30).
Landen Bourassa, USF’s innings pitched leader, will start game one for the Dons. The right-hander has logged 24.2 innings in five starts with a 5.84 ERA and 20 Ks. Other top pitchers for USF include Trevor Meisner, who has an ERA of 2.08 and has appeared in seven games with one start for the Dons. Alex Pham has also appeared in seven games and has an ERA of 2.95 with 35 Ks in 21.1 innings.
BYU ON OFFENSE
Centerfielder Mitch McIntyre leads the Cougars in several statistical categories, including hits (23), triples (2), total bases (31) and steals (2). The senior is also second in batting average (.329) and doubles (4).
Danny Gelalich is leading the Cougars with a .333 average and is coming off a big week at Dixie State and LMU. Gelalich appeared in all four road games for BYU last week. In 10 at-bats he collected six hits (.600) and had a slugging percentage of .900. He scored a run and drove in two runs to lead BYU to a sweep of LMU. Through three WCC games, Gelalich is leading the conference in average (.556), is second in slugging (.889) and OBP (.556). At LMU in game two he was a HR a way from hitting for the cycle.
Sophomore Andrew Pintar is also among the team leaders for BYU. Pintar is coming off a big night for BYU on Tuesday vs UVU. The second baseman went three for three at the plate with two doubles and a triple. He drove in three runs and scored four in the Cougars 11-7 win.
COUGARS ON THE HILL
Starting game one for BYU Thursday is senior right-hander Easton Walker, who has appeared in five games and started four. In 25.2 innings, Walker has an ERA of 0.70 with 23 strikeouts, while holding opposing hitters to a .170 average. Brock Watkins and Jacob Wilk also had big nights for the Cougars vs UVU, as both had a home run and also scored twice.
Through three WCC games, four BYU pitchers are among the top 10 in the conference in ERA. Carter Smith is leading the conference at 0.00, Walker is third at 1.50, and Bryce Robison at 2.08 and Jack Sterner are tied for ninth. Walker will start game one, Smith game two and Sterner game three for the Cougars this weekend vs USF.