New BYU coach Mike Littlewood begins the 2013 baseball season with a Friday doubleheader against Northern Colorado at the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic in Lubbock, Texas.
On Saturday, the Cougars continue tournament play against Northern Illinois at 10 a.m. CST and in the nightcap versus host Texas Tech at 6 p.m. Friday’s doubleheader vs. UNC is at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“We are anxious to get going outdoors and see the sun again,” Littlewood said. “I feel good about our starting pitching if they play up to our expectations, but we still have a lot of unknowns.”
Junior co-captain Desmond Poulson will start on the mound for BYU in its opener against UNC. Sophomore James Lengel is the Cougar starter in game two against the Bears. Sophomore Jeff Barker will start against Northern Illinois, and either Adam Miller or left-hander Mark Anderson will start against the host Red Raiders.
The probable BYU starting lineup would be Jacob Hannemann, Jaycob Brugman and Kelton Caldwell in the outfield, Brock Whitney at first, Brennon Anderson at second, Hayden Nielsen at shortstop, Adam Law at third, Dakota Hernandez at catcher and Nate Favero as the designated hitter. Catcher Dillon Robinson will not be making the trip due to an injury.
Most of the BYU practices have been inside at the Indoor Practice Facility, but the Cougars spent two weekends outdoors in St. George in preparation for this tournament.
“At St. George we got to knock some of the rust off, hit balls on dirt and see balls in the sky,” Littlewood said. “We had energetic practices this year. We want to be hard-nosed, mentally tough and gritty. Everybody on our team is going to have to compete because we don’t have a lot of depth.”
Following the Texas games, BYU returns home to prepare for a four-game series hosted by No. 3 LSU. The Cougars play the Tigers twice on Feb. 21 and 23, and face Southeastern Louisiana twice in between the LSU games.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.