A four-game series at CSUN in Northridge, California, opens the 2018 season for BYU baseball starting Friday at 2 p.m. PST.
BYU, 38-21 last season, has a single game on Friday, a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 10:30 a.m. and a single game on Monday at 1 p.m. at CSUN, which posted a 26-29 record last season.
"They (CSUN) are going to be a very tough opponent,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “They have a veteran pitching staff and have seven or eight seniors in their lineup. They are well coached and play in one of the best conferences on the West Coast. They see good teams week in and week out. We will have to go in there and play our best baseball to be successful."
Littlewood enters his sixth season at the Cougar helm.
BYU has been picked to finish first and repeat as league champion in the West Coast Conference, while the Matadors were picked to finish fifth in the Big West Conference preseason poll. The Matadors lead the series against BYU, 7-6-1.
The starting pitching rotation for BYU will be junior right-hander Jordan Wood (5-0, 5.14) on Friday. In the first game on Saturday, freshman right-hander Ryan Brady (0-0, 0.00) will start for the Cougars, followed by senior lefty Hayden Rogers (9-2, 3.36) in the nightcap. Oklahoma transfer Kenny Saenz (0-0, 5.00 in 2016), a left-hander, will be BYU's starter on Monday against CSUN.
Among the Cougars to watch are preseason All-American second baseman Brennon Anderson, who joins junior outfielders Brock Hale and Keaton Kringlen, and junior shortstop Daniel Schneemann on various All-WCC preseason teams.
CSUN and the Cougars share Pepperdine and Hawai’i as common opponents this season.
Following the four-game series at CSUN, the Cougars have another four-game series at Hawai’i.