An uphill battle for BYU baseball is aided by a long home stretch beginning this week with a three-game series against Loyola Marymount University.

LMU, 22-14 overall and 11-4 in the West Coast Conference, is tied for second place in the league. BYU brings a 14-24 overall record and a 5-10 conference record into the series.

“We need to pitch better than we did last week,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “They (LMU) have a good team, but being at home, I like our chances. Until someone tells us we are mathematically out of the race we are going to play like we have a spot. We plan on playing hard the rest of the way, one inning and one game at a time. We understand we need to win every series and probably sweep some.”

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Senior co-captain Desmond Poulson (4-4, 4.92 earned run average )will start on the mound for the Cougars in Thursday’s series opener at 6 p.m. MDT, and the game will be televised live by BYUtv. Junior Jeff Barker (2-5, 4.94) will start Friday’s game at 6 p.m., televised live on Sophomore Kolton Mahoney (4-5, 4.55) will start in Saturday’s game at 1 p.m., televised live by BYUtv.

“He (Poulson) really needs to set the tone for us,” Littlewood said. “We know what is in front of us, we just need to get it done.”

The Cougars host LMU, followed by a week’s break for final exams. They then host Gonzaga and Santa Clara before finishing the regular season at Portland.

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