BYU to face Gonzaga in three-game series
PROVO, Utah — BYU continues West Coast Conference play with a three-game series at Gonzaga on March 30-31 and April 1, at Patterson Complex in Spokane, Washington. First pitch for all three games is scheduled for 6 p.m. PDT.
BROADCAST PLANS. The three games will be broadcast live on the BYU Radio App with the voice of the Cougars, Greg Wrubell, on the call. The Thursday and Friday games will also be simulcast on 107.9 FM in the northern Utah market,
COUGARS-ZAGS HISTORY. Thursday will be the 62nd meeting between BYU and Gonzaga. The Cougars are 27-34 all-time versus the Bulldogs and 15-21 since joining the WCC in 2011-12. The first meeting between the two schools was a three-game series played at BYU on March 4-5, 1971, with the Cougars winning two of the three games. The Zags took two of three games from the Cougars at Miller Park in 2022 with BYU winning game one, 11-2 and Gonzaga taking games two and three 6-3 and 9-4.
BYU REVIEW. The Cougars enter the weekend series in Spokane with an 8-15 record, 2-4 in the WCC. BYU played four games last week, going 2-2. After defeating UVU, 15-7, on Tuesday, March 21, the Cougars dropped the first two games of a three-game series with Saint Mary's on Thursday (11-8) and Saturday (6-4) but bounced back to win the second game of the doubleheader (4-3) on Saturday afternoon. On Tuesday of this week, UVU scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to come from behind and defeat BYU (9-8) at UCCU Ballpark.
COUGARS ON THE HILL. Junior left-hander Mason Olson (1-1, 3.98 ERA) is scheduled to start on Thursday for BYU, while junior righty Bryce Robison (2-1, 4.83 ERA) will start Friday. The Cougars' starter on Saturday will be right-hander Ben Hansen (0-0, 3.60 ERA).
AT THE PLATE. Offensively the Cougars are led by Austin Deming, Ryan Sepede and Cooper Vest. Deming is a returning first-team All-WCC performer who leads the team in multiple offensive categories including average (.377), RBI (27), hits (29), HRs (7) and 2B (11). Sepede is second on the team in average (.329), hits (26) and OBP (4.26). Vest leads the team in triples (2) and is second in slugging (.688) and home runs (5).
Three Cougars were selected to the All-WCC Preseason Baseball Team, including Cole Gambill, Ozzie Pratt and pitcher Jack Sterner.
GONZAGA RECAP. The Zags are 9-13 (5-1 WCC) in 2023, with a home record of 5-1. Gonzaga, who won the 2022 WCC regular season baseball title, was projected to repeat in the 2023 WCC Baseball Preseason Poll, as voted by the league coaches.
ZAGS PROJECTED STARTERS. Junior righthander Owen Wild (1-3, 5.45 ERA) will start on Thursday for the Zags, with junior righty Jacob Rutherford (2-0, 5.50 ERA) slated to start on Friday. Saturday’s starter for GU has yet to be determined.
SCOUTING GU. Four Zags were named to the 2023 All-WCC Preseason Baseball Team, including Cade McGee, Savier Pinales and Grayson Sterling, as well as pitcher Wild. Brian Kalmer is hitting .380 on the season with a team-high nine home runs. In conference play, GU is batting .344 and is averaging eight runs on 12.3 hits during its 3-0 home sweep of San Francisco and 2-1 series win on the road at Pepperdine.
UP NEXT. Following the weekend series with Gonzaga, the Cougars travel to Pullman for a Monday, April 3, noon game at Washington State.
BYU third baseman Austin Deming was selected by the Houston Astros in the 10th round of the 2023 MLB Draft at Lumen…