A look into BYU Baseball’s inaugural season

The inaugural Big 12 Baseball season is quickly approaching, and the Cougars are looking to turn heads this season.

The Conference released their Big 12 preseason standings, and BYU is tied for last place with Cincinnati.

Big 12 Baseball Preseason Poll
1. TCU (11) – 143
2. Texas (2) – 131
3. Oklahoma State – 119
4. Texas Tech – 107
5. Kansas State – 98
T6. Oklahoma – 85
T6. West Virginia – 85
8. Kansas – 67
9. Houston – 56
10. UCF – 45
11. Baylor – 36
T12. BYU – 21
T12. Cincinnati – 21

“We’re going to be picked to finish last in the conference, and that’s fine by us. We have nothing to lose and something to prove,” said BYU pitcher Boston Mabeus.

19 Cougars return this season for Coach Trent Pratt’s second season including 5 starters and 10 pitchers.

“We’re not rebuilding, we’re rebranding”, said left-hand pitcher Brett Hansen.

One of the ways the Cougars have changed this season is by changing the team’s culture.

“The culture has been a total turnaround. We’re excited to be here. We love it. Every day is a great day at practice,” said Mabeus.

BYU welcomes two new assistants: Adam Law and Tyler Coolbaugh. Law is a former BYU infielder (2009-13) and was with the Los Angeles Dodgers for five years in the international operations and mental health departments. Coolbaugh was Arizona’s director of player development and worked with the Texas Rangers and Abilene Christian.

“Last year, I feel like we kind of lived and died by the home run. We have a bunch of guys that can still do that. I feel like we’re a much more well-rounded team and have a, like a deeper staff this year,” said Hansen.

A Look at the Big 12 Schedule:

At West VirginiaMarch 7-9
HoustonMarch 14-16
At Texas TechMarch 21-23
KansasMarch 28-30
At TexasApril 4-6
BaylorApril 11-13
OklahomaApril 18-20
At Oklahoma StateApril 25-27
CincinnatiMay 9-11
At Kansas StateMay 16-18

Three of BYU’s opponents are ranked in the D1 Baseball Preseason Top 25 with Texas at No. 16, No. 21 Texas Tech, and No. 24 Kansas State. Those series will all be away.

The Cougars will not face TCU or UCF this season. TCU was selected as the preseason favorite and is slated as No. 5 in the Preseason Top 25. Last season, the Horned Frogs were conference champions and went to the College World Series.

Is it a problem that the Cougars will not face the Horned Frogs? Many players are disappointed for not having TCU on the schedule.

“I was sad, but you know, it is what it is,” said Hansen.

They might not play the Horned Frogs in regular season, but the Cougars have the chance to play them at Globe Life Field for the Big 12 Championship. BYU Baseball is determined to perform well and make the tournament where the top 10 finishing teams will compete.

“We know we’re going to leave it all out here [this season], and at the end of the day, you know, if we do that, we’ll have a chance to win a lot of games,” said Coach Pratt.

The Cougars start their historic season at the MLB Desert Invitational on February 16 against USC.

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