When the UVU baseball team began a three-game series against Cal State Bakersfield five days ago on April 29, there were in fourth place in the WAC standings and were two games behind New Mexico State and four games behind second place Sacramento State. But after sweeping Bakersfield over the weekend, and thanks to a three-game sweep of Sacramento State by New Mexico State, the Wolverines now find themselves one game back of the third place Hornets and two games back of second place New Mexico State. It makes for a very big week for UVU baseball.
The Wolverines take on crosstown rival BYU at 6 p.m. MT in Provo and follow that up with a three-game series at Sacramento State beginning on Friday. With the national attention that BYU has garnered this season, a win over the Cougars could push a team playing its best baseball of the season over the hump and give them great momentum going into a big conference weekend.
Here is what’s at stake against Sacramento State. With New Mexico State playing league-leading Seattle in a three-game series this weekend, UVU could move up to second place in the WAC standings. This is huge because the top two seeds get a bye in the first round of the WAC tournament coming up at the end of May. It is also big because they host UTRGV and travel to Chicago State in their final WAC series of the season.
UTRGV is currently on a five-game losing streak and Chicago State is 10-34 overall on the season so both series are winnable for the Wolverines. Thus, taking two of three or even sweeping Sac State this weekend could pay huge dividends for UVU and Head Coach Eric Madsen knows it.
“It’s a big week for us because, obviously BYU,” Madsen said on Sunday after his team swept Bakersfield. “We want to perform well against them. They’re a real highly ranked team so we want to go out and knock those guys off for sure. Going into the weekend, Sac State I think it’s big for us. We need to go up there with every intent of winning the series and trying to find a way to gain ground on the guys up ahead of us…we have a chance to position ourselves moving up into that one or two seed, which is what we are hoping for going into the tournament.”
Are the Wolverines up to the task? It all begins on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. against the Cougars.
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