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BYU baseball puts #29 ranking up against rival Utah Tuesday night

The Cougars will take their first national ranking in 22 years onto the field against the Utes.

The 15-1 BYU baseball team will take the diamond at Larry H. Miller Field at 6 p.m. MDT Tuesday night against the University of Utah.

The Cougars' best start in team history has received national attention. In the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association Top 30 ranking, the Cougars have been recognized at No. 29. This marks the first national ranking for BYU baseball in 22 years -- since last being ranked 22nd in 1994.

BYU is also receiving votes in the Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll Top 25.

The University of Utah baseball team is 4-10 on the season. The Utes are led by infielder Kellen Marruffo and outfielder Max Schuman in batting average. Both players are hitting .357 on the season.

Utah lefty Josh Lapiana is getting the start. Lapiana is 0-2 with a 4.42 ERA and an opponent batting average of .338.

The Cougar bats continue to produce. As a squad, BYU is hitting .352, good for 2nd nationally in batting average. The Y's team on-base percentage is .435, which is 3rd best in the nation.

The Cougars are also hitting for power, with a .552 slugging percentage -- 4th nationally. All of this leads to runs. Lots and lots of runs. The Cougars lead the nation in runs scored, having crossed home plate 159 times over their first 16 games.

The Cougars are no slouch on the mound either. BYU hurlers have a team ERA of 3.06. Tuesday night will see Maverik Buffo start on the mound. Buffo is 3-0 with a 3.57 ERA on the season. However, Buffo isn't expect to pitch many innings as he'll be used on Friday against Pacific. The Cougar bullpen will be used heavily to limit pitches to keep players fresh for the weekend. Mike Littlewood used the same tactic one week ago when BYU defeated UVU by a score of 6-1.

The game will be broadcast on BYUTV. It is also available on the radio on ESPN 960 AM locally and worldwide on Sirius XM station 143.