The Cougar baseball team once again takes to the road as it faces off against the University of Portland in a three-game series starting today.
This series will be the second West Coast Conference game the Cougars will play this season. The first was a three-game series against UC Riverside, which the Cougars won 2-1. Currently the Cougars lead the series against the Pilots 9-8, with BYU winning both games last season.
“Every game is important, particularly in the league,” said BYU coach Vance Law in a news release. “We want to try and stay in first place. It was tough to play a conference game the second weekend of our season. Now it is time for us to really get things rolling.”
Chris Capper, a right-handed pitcher from Glendale, Ariz., has worked hard this week to prepare for Portland.
“I am just trying to focus on my regular routine,” Capper said. “Everything is really coming together. I had two real quality starts my last two games and hope this one goes well too.”
With this being a conference game, the coaches are focusing on helping the team gain confidence with its offense.
“They have had us focus a lot on our approaches at the plate this week,” Capper said. “We really want to get out there and get the most out of it, and score lots of runs. Coaches want us to go back to the basics and focus on what we know how to do, and do it well.”
With BYU being in a new conference, the team has to focus on adjusting its game to various climates.
“We are playing in many different climates and we have to focus more on flat swings and line drives,” said Jaycob Brugman, a sophomore outfielder from Phoenix. “The ball doesn’t fly in this conference very much, especially in Portland, it is really damp and rainy. This is something we have been working on, and we are excited to get out there.”
The team plays about 70 percent of its games on the road. Many of the players have to deal with the pressures of school on top of being on the road so much.
“The team is taking being on the road pretty well, it’s kind of rough being on the road all the time but it’s also a good experience,” said Christian Mua, a junior outfielder from San Diego. “It’s hard at times not being here for two weeks straight, but as long as you keep in touch with your professors and communicate with them, they are pretty good at helping us out. ”
The series starts today at 11 a.m. PDT. The game will be broadcast locally on radio 960 AM.