The Cougar's baseball season may be over.
After a record start of 18-1, the BYU baseball team has finished the season 19-16. A total record of 37-17. BYU enjoyed a share of the West Coast Conference regular season title with St. Mary's and Gonzaga.
It has been a good season, injuries aside, and a step forward for the baseball program. Several weeks were spent with national rankings; climbing into the top 20 in polls. This was an exciting group of players, that generated more interest in BYU baseball -- 15,000 more fans attended a game at Larry H. Miller Field than any other season in program history.
Hopes of playing in the NCAA tournament are still alive, but unlikely. The Cougars currently have a RPI of 49 with a strength of schedule at 137. The computer metrics already made at-large entry into the field of 64 precarious. Perhaps more incriminating evidence against NCAA selection was BYU's poor showing in the WCC tournament.
An argument could be made that it was less about BYU's performance and more about two terrific pitching performances.
One night after Gonzaga's Brandon Bailey struck out 17 BYU hitters in a complete game outing, Pepperdine's Ryan Wilson struck out 11 Y batters in a complete game outing.
Facing Bailey and Wilson, suddenly BYU's high-powered, 3rd in the nation in batting average (.326), 6th in the nation in runs scored (8.02 per game) offense was tamed.
BYU hit 14-for-68 (.206) with 5 runs in their 2 WCC tournament games. The leading batters for the Y picked the wrong weekend to go cold.
Notably, BYU's leadoff hitter Brennon Lund struggled. Entering the weekend, Lund was hitting .400. Against Bailey and Wilson, Lund went 0-8 with 5 strikeouts. Colton Shaver one of BYU's leading run producers also had a rough tournament. Shaver went 0-6 with 5 K's. 2nd baseman Brennon Anderson went 1-7 with 4 strikeouts.
Baseball is a sport of pitching. Great pitching will defeat great hitting. In that vein, it is clear that BYU ran into a pair of buzzsaws on the mound on Thursday night and Friday afternoon.
As a result, the Cougars will have an uncomfortable wait for the NCAA selection committee's announcement of the Regional match ups on Monday. The Brigham Bats and Cougar fans will now be left cheering for favorable results. The most important part of their rooting guide will be for the Gonzaga Bulldogs to win the WCC tournament.
The WCC is usually a 1-bid league for baseball, but on occasion they will receive 2-bids. If St. Mary's or Pepperdine win the WCC tournament and its accompanying automatic qualifying spot, the selection committee will undoubtedly take Gonzaga as an at-large.
In this scenario, the Cougars are cooked. There is no way the West Coast Conference will receive 3-bids to the NCAA tournament. Gonzaga must win this weekend.
This was BYU's 3rd WCC tournament appearance. BYU has gone 1-6 in the event.
Stay with Vanquish The Foe on Monday as we will give an update to whether the Cougars were selected for a Regional.