An extended stay in Hawaii is on the line for the University of Utah baseball team as it begins a four-game series against the Rainbows tonight in Honolulu.
The Western Athletic Conference tournament is next week in Hawaii, and right now the Utes are in fourth place. If they can beat Hawaii enough times to stay in fourth, the Utes get to stick around Hawaii for the four-team tourney. If they don't, their season ends Sunday.Hawaii is 18-5 in the WAC and has clinched a tourney berth. That means the Rainbows' only motivation this weekend is nailing down the No. 1 seed, which isn't as big a deal as in, say, the WAC basketball tournament. San Diego State is 11-6 and in second place, with a good chance to remain there as it faces 1-16 Air Force in its final series.
BYU, 12-7, is the third-place team, with doubleheaders against Colorado State Friday and Saturday in Provo to close the regular season. CSU is 5-16, doesn't have a chance to make the tournament field, and has not played well lately. Regardless of what other teams do, BYU will be in Honolulu next week if it beats CSU three of four.
Utah, 11-8, has a half-game lead over Wyoming. The Cowboys play four games against New Mexico in Albuquerque this weekend, so what it all boils down to is that the Utes just have to win as many games as Wyoming. The Utes and Cowboys will play identical schedules, one game Friday, two Saturday and one Sunday.