BYU baseball prepares for Santa Clara series

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While there have been some bumps along the way, the Cougars are preparing for their second to last home series against Santa Clara.

After losing three pitchers and losing the last six conference games, the Cougars baseball team is rallying together to get their spirits high for this upcoming series. After a close series against Pepperdine, BYU had to recover from losing all three games.

“We’ve tried to dwell on the positive aspects (of last week’s games), but at the same time address a couple of the mistakes we committed this past week that could possibly have determined the outcome the other direction,” Coach Vance Law said.

After analyzing previous games in the season, the team has focused on bunt defense and pitching this week to prepare for the Santa Clara series.

“We have spent more time on bunt defense this year than any other year that I’ve been here,” Law said.

Not only have the Cougars (19-24, 7-11) been working on bunt defense, but they have been trying to improve on their pitching as well.

“We’ve also covered trying to speed up our pitchers to the plate because we allowed too many stolen bases,” Law said. “Consequently, the catcher gets blamed but usually it’s because the pitcher takes too long to get rid of the baseball.”

Since the suspension of Mark Anderson, Chris Capper and Chris Howard, BYU’s pitching staff has had to adjust to the changes.

“It has definitely changed what peoples’ roles are, they are in different situations than the past, ” Pitching Coach Wally Ritchie said.  “The only thing we can do is help them get comfortable.”

For the series, Desmond Poulson is set to open Thursday, with Marc Oslund on Friday and Adam Miller on Saturday.

Santa Clara (22-23, 3-15) just returned from playing the University of San Francisco and suffered a tough loss, losing all three games in the series.

“On paper it looks like a win, but in the game of baseball you have to go out and compete everyday” Ritchie said.

Although BYU could expect a win this weekend, Santa Clara could potentially come on top.

“I think that baseball is more unpredictable than most sports,” Law said. “It’s a different game, very unpredictable, especially in this conference. There hasn’t been easy games, every game has been competitive against very good teams top to bottom. Santa Clara has beaten some good teams”

With only six games left in the season, this may be some of the final games the seniors play competitively.

“We want to make it a successful final two series,” Law said. “Especially, being able to play at home again. We’ve been a little road weary, it will be nice to be back home.”

The Cougars will face the Broncos Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m and Saturday at 1 p.m.

“We have to come ready to play and give it our best shot,” Law said.

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