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BYU baseball: Cougars make WCC debut on Thursday

By Ralph R. Zobell

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 21 2012 11:29 a.m. MST

Five California trips are on BYU’s baseball schedule, but perhaps none loom larger than this week’s three-game series at Saint Mary’s College.

Thursday afternoon marks the start of the Cougars’ first year of baseball play in the West Coast Conference. SMC, now 4-0, is located in Moraga, Calif. and was picked sixth in the WCC preseason poll. BYU was seventh.

The Cougars have a 6-1 lead in the series with the Gaels.

The three games mark the start of live Cougar broadcasts over BYU Radio 960 AM, with Brent Norton calling the action for his 20th year mike side. Those games will also be audiocast live on www.byucougars.com.

BYU, 2-1, begins its second week of the season using the same pitching rotation that brought success at UC Riverside. Junior Chris Capper (0-1, 5.40) is the starting pitcher for Thursday’s game beginning at 3 p.m. Junior southpaw Mark Anderson (1-0, 3.00) is on the mound for Friday’s game at the same time. Sophomore Adam Miller (0-0, 0.00) takes the hill in Saturday’s contest starting at 1 p.m.

“Our pitchers did a nice job keeping us in games last week,” said BYU coach Vance Law. “Our defense was outstanding, but we need to recognize how important that is to our success. I am pleased with the way we performed and our offense will continue to get better.

“We are looking forward to the league-opener, which has come mighty early as a result of previous scheduling before we were conference members. Both teams are at the same disadvantage.”

When the Cougars return from the SMC series, they will practice one day in Provo before flying to play at No. 4 Arkansas. BYU then travels to California the second week of March for a series at No. 27 UC Irvine, but doesn’t return to WCC play until the third full week of March at the University of Portland.

Ralph R. Zobell has worked for BYU Athletic Media Relations in various capacities for over 30 years. You can view his bio at http://byucougars.com/staff/athletics/ralph-zobell or contact him at ralph_zobell@byu.edu.

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