PROVO — A first-ever appearance in Provo for the University of San Francisco is among the highlights of this weekend’s opponent for BYU baseball.
The Dons, 30-19 overall and 14-7 in the West Coast Conference, come to Provo on the heels of a 4-3 upset at No. 19 Stanford and bring a six-game winning streak as the second place team in the league. BYU, 24-18 and 10-8, stands in fourth place, looking to improve upon a 10-4 home field record as it seeks to secure one of the top four spots for the upcoming WCC tournament.
The Cougars, who have a No. 56 ranking in the latest RPI compared to USF’s No. 64, will start Desmond Poulson (6-1, 2.50) at Thursday’s 6 p.m. game against USF’s Abe Bobb (4-5, 4.16). On Friday, Jeff Barker (4-3, 3.48) will oppose the Dons’ Haden Hinkle (8-1, 1.60) also at 6 p.m. And Saturday, BYU’s Adam Miller (3-7, 5.12) faces Alex Balag (3-3, 3.29) at 1 p.m.
“We have exceeded everybody’s expectations but our own,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We kind of control our own destiny the next two weekends. If we don’t make the tournament, that positive feeling we have right now will turn negative real quick. I feel like we have a chance to win every night we go out. Everybody has met or exceeded expectations and that is why we have a winning record and are in the hunt for a tournament bid.”
In addition to securing a tournament bid, BYU will honor former coaches Glen Tuckett and Gary Pullins on Saturday when their respective jerseys No. 20 and No. 1 are retired.
“It will be a special day with coach Tuckett and coach Pullins,” said Littlewood, who played for Pullins from 1985-88. “I remember his passion for life and the way he approached everything with a lot of energy. I like to think I have part of both of those guys in me. They are two great guys, two great examples.”
Friday's and Saturday’s games will be televised live on BYUtv and all of the BYU-USF games will be broadcast live by KOVO Radio 960 AM and on the Internet through BYU Radio.
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.