PROVO- After more than a decade without any NCAA tournament appearances, and despite being picked to finish only sixth by WCC coaches, the Cougars defied expectations with an 8-1 start.
Coach Mike Littlewood gave much of the credit to his new players.
“I… think if you polled all the West Coast Conference coaches, they wouldn’t even know who’s starting for us,” Littlewood said.
First and second year players make up more than half of this year’s team and are gaining national attention. Their 102 hits is second best in the country, and Junior Brennon Lund is leading the NCAA with 21 hits. San Diego native and freshman slugger Kyle Dean has already racked up four home runs.
Littlewood said freshmen and returning missionaries are crucial to this squad’s success.
“… Kyle Dean and Jackson Cluff are the two freshmen that have been playing most for us. They’ve stepped in and done a great job, and Nate Favero and Brennon Anderson coming back from their missions have just been tremendous as well,” Littlewood said.
The scouting organization Perfect Game rated Dean the number one high school outfielder in California. Rather than declare for the MLB draft, he came to BYU to further develop his game–a benefit to the Cougars as they seek a playoff berth in Omaha this summer.
Following this weekend’s series in Kansas, the Cougars will start a home-stand this Tuesday against University Parkway rivals UVU.[vimeo 157783902 width=520]
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