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2016 WCC Baseball Tournament: BYU baseball to face Gonzaga in important opening showdown

The Brigham Bats won a share of the conference title and that lands them as one of just four teams selected for the conference tournament in California this weekend.

BYU Photos

This Thursday at 8pm MST, #2 BYU will play #3 Gonzaga in the first round of the double elimination WCC tournament. The other two teams, #1 Saint Mary's and #4 Pepperdine, will go head to head beforehand.

These four teams play on Thursday, Friday and Saturday to ultimately determine the conference champion. You can catch the action on the radio on ESPN 960 . The games can also be streamed online, for free, via

The WCC has it covered, you can find their link, here.

A double elimination tournament works exactly how it sounds, you play until you've lost twice. You can find the full schedule here, but since this is only a four team tournament, all you really need to know is that there are four teams and they play until one team has lost only once.

BYU holds a 2-1 game lead against Gonzaga this year.. Michael Rucker will pitch and the last time he pitched against the Zags, the Cougars won 11-2. However, BYU did not fair as well against Saint Mary's or Pepperdine this year as they lost two out of three against both squads.

This season has been a wild ride for the BYU baseball team. Ace Michael Rucker has been nearly flawless but the rest of the pitching staff has struggled. Throughout the year, injuries plagued the Cougs, particularly the pitching staff. The Brigham Bats have been consistently solid and BYU needs that to continue in order to keep their postseason hopes alive by winning the conference tournament.

BYU has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2002, we find out this weekend if that will change. Right now, BYU's RPI is 48, and they're a little close to the tournament bubble. A win or two against a program like Gonzaga should be enough for the Cougars to make a return to the tournament, but two losses in a row could complicate matters.