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BYU Baseball to host Loyola Marymount in 3-game series

Can the Cougar bats stay hot against the talented Lions pitching staff?

Jaren Wilkey/BYU

For the third week in a row, BYU baseball will be playing in the friendly confines of Larry Miller Park. The Cougars are 8-1 over their last two weeks in Provo and hold an overall record of 18-2.

The Brigham Bats hot start has garnered national attention as BYU is represented in the three national polls.

Poll BYU ranking
Collegiate Baseball Magazine #23
USA Today Coaches' Poll #24
National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (Top 30) #27

The Cougars are being considered in the poll.

At the plate and on the base paths, the Y has been devastating. The Cougars led the nation in scoring averaging, 10.2 runs per contest, and total runs with 253. That's a jaw dropping 253 runs on 260 hits. As a team, their batting average is .349 and their on base percentage is .431, which is 3rd best in the nation.

Colton Shaver is seeing the ball and hitting it hard. He's top fifteen nationally in doubles, hits, batting average, and slugging.

Loyola Marymount enters the weekend series with an 8-12 record. Last week, LMU went 2-1 against Portland outscoring the Pilots 12-4 over the three games.

LMU is led at the plate by freshman infielder Niko Decolati who is hitting .381 with 2 home runs and 13 RBIs on the season. While the 9th and 18th best prospects in the WCC, C Cassidy Brown and OF Austin Miller respectively, round out the Lion bats to watch for.

The Loyola Marymount pitching staff has done well to force the opposition to swing the bats -- walking just 47 hitters and hitting 8 batters over 174 innings of work. The Lions work from the mound in limiting walks is 7th best in the nation. In particular, LMU's 6-foot-7 righty J.D. Busfield has been great at pounding the zone. Busfield ranks 3rd in the nation with .27 walks-per-nine innings. Busfield also strikes out batters. The 4th overall prospect in the WCC is averaging 31 K's per walk this season. Busfield has 5 starts on the year with a 1-1 record and a 3.24 ERA.

The Lions will also likely start on the mound righties Corey Abbott (2-2, 2.76 ERA) and Tyler Cohen (2-2, 3.12 ERA).

The Lions are 1-4 this season against ranked opponents.

Thursday and Friday's games are going to be broadcast on BYUtv. All games can be heard on ESPN 960 AM.

BYU's probable starters:

4 game series vs. Niagara Name Hand 2016 record 2016 ERA Year
Game 1: Thursday, March 24, 6:00 MST Michael Rucker Right 4-0 2.67 Junior
Game 2: Friday, March 25, 6:00 MST Maverik Buffo Right 4-0 3.03 Sophomore
Game 3: Saturday, March 26, 1:00 MST Connor Williams Right 1-0 3.09 Sophomore

Vanquish The Foe's projected starting lineup:

Position Name Year Bats Throws 2016 HR 2016 RBI 2016 Batting Average
Catcher Bronson Larsen Junior Right Right 4 15 .308
1st Base Tanner Chauncey Junior Right Right 0 12 .393
2nd Base Brennon Anderson Sophomore Right Right 3 29 .386
3rd Base Nate Favero Sophomore Left Right 3 14 .400
Shortstop Hayden Nielsen Senior Right Right 1 16 .287
Left Field Eric Urry Senior Left Left 4 26 .276
Center Field Brennon Lund Junior Left Right 0 11 .379
Right Field Brock Hale Freshman Right Right 0 11 .500
Designated Hitter Colton Shaver Sophomore Right Right 5 26 .462