No. 21 UC Irvine plays a three-game series in Provo this week to become BYU baseball’s official home opener.

The Cougars (7-6) host UC Irvine (10-2) after having last week’s scheduled home opener moved to St. George because of playing conditions at Larry H. Miller Field.

“UC Irvine is a great challenge for us because they are a solid baseball team that has beat up some good teams thus far,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “We want to set a precedent to win home series, so we need to go about our game plan, throw strikes, get timely hitting and continue not beating ourselves.”

Junior co-captain Desmond Poulson (2-0, 1.23 earned run average) is scheduled to start for BYU on the mound in Thursday’s game, which starts at 3 p.m. MST. On Friday, also at 3 p.m., junior Adam Miller (0-3, 4.66) will be BYU’s starter. And on Saturday at 1 p.m., sophomore Jeff Barker (2-1, 1.89) is scheduled to start for the Cougars.

The Anteaters’ scheduled pitcher for game three on Saturday is the nation’s leading pitcher Andrew Morales who brings a 4-0 record and a 2.60 ERA into the afternoon contest.

The Anteaters bring the nation’s No. 3 batting average of .337 and No. 3 fielding percentage of .991 into the series. The Cougars are No. 2 in the nation in double plays turned.

All three games will be broadcast live locally over KOVO Radio 960 AM.

Ralph R. Zobell has worked for BYU Athletic Media Relations in various capacities for over 30 years. You can view his bio at or contact him at [email protected].