Fresh off their best start since 1998, the 4-0 BYU Baseball team heads to Birmingham, Alabama to take on the Samford Bulldogs of the Southern Conference.
Samford was the preseason selection to win the Southern Conference. The Bulldog are 4-0 after comfortably sweeping Butler to open their season last weekend.
Samford outfielder Heath Quinn was honored as Southern Conference Player of the Week as he went 10-16 at the plate and had a game in which he hit for a cycle.
BYU leadoff batter, and centerfielder, Brennon Lund was recognized as the West Coast Conference Player of the Week. Like Quinn, Lund went 13-for-22 (.591) batting in 5 runners and scoring another 5 himself. Lund also stole a base on his only attempt.
Lund led the way among a wealth of strong plate performances by the Y batters.
BYU will once again look to right hander Michael Rucker (1-0, 3.00 ERA) to start the weekend off on the mound. BYU's #1 pitcher struck out 8 on his way to a win in his season debut performance. After a thrilling 8 scoreless inning performance last week, RHP Maverik Buffo (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will start game 2. Lefty Hayden Rogers (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will be on the mound for game 3.
BYU Baseball head coach Mike Littlewood has not indicated a starter for the 4th outing. RHP Connor Williams had a shaky start on Monday giving up 5 runs in 2 innings. LHP Bo Burrup entered to give the Cougars a strong relief performance giving up just 1 hit and zero earned runs in 3.1 innings of work. Perhaps Littlewood will hand Burrup the ball to start game 4.
Another strong possibility to get the start is junior college transfer Kendall Motes. The 6-foot-2 210-pound righty was in the preseason mix for starting. Perhaps he'll make his Cougar debut in Birmingham.
In this series, the Cougars have an opportunity to break an all-time record. BYU has never had a team start a season with 6 straight wins. Should BYU defeat Samford in their first two game, this year's squad would be stepping into unprecedented territory.
Samford plays their home games at Joe Lee Griffin Field. Frequently tabbed as one of the best venues in college baseball, Griffin Field features a beautiful tree-lined fence in the outfield, a 1,000 seat brick grandstand with brick walls down the 1st and 3rd base lines.
BYU fans can follow this weekends action with a live stats tracker online and a radio broadcast. Links to both can be found via the Samford Baseball website.
BYU's probable starters:
|4 game series @ Samford||Name||Hand||2016 record||2016 ERA||Year|
|Game 1: Thursday, Feb 25, 1:00 MST||Michael Rucker||Right||1-0||3.00||Junior|
|Game 2: Friday, Feb 26, 1:00 MST||Maverik Buffo||Right||1-0||0.00||Sophomore|
|Game 3: Friday, Feb 26, 4:00 MST||Hayden Rogers||Left||1-0||1.50||Sophomore|
|Game 4: Saturday, Feb 27, 11:00 MST||Kendall Motes||Right||Junior|
Vanquish The Foe's projected starting lineup:
|Position||Name||Year||Bats||Throws||2016 HR||2016 RBI||2016 Batting Average|
|1st Base||Tanner Chauncey||Junior||Right||Right||0||7||.588|
|2nd Base||Brennon Anderson||Sophomore||Right||Right||1||7||.353|
|3rd Base||Nate Favero||Sophomore||Left||Right||0||2||.500|
|Left Field||Eric Urry||Senior||Left||Left||1||2||.267|
|Center Field||Brennon Lund||Junior||Left||Right||0||5||.591|
|Right Field||Kyle Dean||Freshman||Right||Right||1||3||.533|
|Designated Hitter||Colton Shaver||Sophomore||Right||Right||1||5||.294|