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BYU baseball: league favorite San Diego plays BYU in WCC baseball debut

By Ralph R. Zobell

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, March 11 2014 3:16 p.m. MDT

Defending league champion and preseason favorite San Diego and host BYU begin league baseball play this Thursday in a three-game series at Larry H. Miller Field.

The Toreros, 8-2 prior to a Tuesday night game against No. 8 Cal State Fullerton, have nine consecutive wins over BYU (7-11), including three games in Provo and five last season.

“We have been battle tested, so not much is going to surprise us,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said of the West Coast Conference debut. “This is a clean slate, but they (USD) are traditionally one of the best in our league and will be a great challenge for us. We are headed in the right direction.”

BYU senior co-captain Desmond Poulson (3-1, 2.10 earned run average) will oppose PJ Conlon (2-0, 2.45), a preseason All-American along with his catcher Connor Joe, in Thursday’s game starting at 6 p.m. MDT. Poulson is ranked No. 1 in the NCAA with five games started. USD will start three left-handers on the mound, including Troy Conyers (2-0, 2.25) going against Jeff Barker (1-2, 5.27) in Friday’s game, also at 6 p.m. Louie Lechich (3-1, 2.08) will face BYU’s Kolton Mahoney (2-2, 2.17) on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Mahoney was honored four times this week by the WCC, College Sports Madness, NCAA.com and Collegiate Baseball magazine as pitcher of the week for his no-hitter last week in a 5-0 win at Nicholls State.

BYU catcher Jarrett Jarvis has a current 14-game hitting streak, carrying over three games from last season.

Teammates Dillon Robinson and Hayden Rogers are questionable for the San Diego series. Robinson underwent X-rays for an ankle injury suffered last week in Louisiana. Rogers sustained a concussion Monday during warm ups at Dallas Baptist University.

BYUtv will televise Thursday and Saturday’s games live, while Friday’s game will be streamed by TheW.tv. All the games will be broadcast by KOVO 960 AM and 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 ralph_zobell@byu.edu.

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