League front-runners San Diego State and BYU collide this week in baseball as the Cougars host the Aztecs in a three-game series beginning Thursday.

BYU, 26-17 and 14-7 in the Mountain West Conference, hosts SDSU, also 26-17 and 15-6, with a game separating the two in the standings.

Cougar ace Nate Fernley (11-2, 3.39) is scheduled to start in Thursday's 6 p.m. Game at Larry H. Miller Field. The Aztecs handed Fernley one of his two losses last month at San Diego.

Game two is also scheduled for 6 p.m., with freshman Jeff Stearman (1-4, 6.57) scheduled to pitch. Saturday's finale will start at 1 p.m. with Jeff Stone (3-4, 6.55) on the mound. The Aztecs will counter with lefty Marcos Mendoza (5-4, 3.11) in one of these games.

Mendoza had pitched three straight complete-game victories and struck out 29 batters in his last two starts.

Injuries will play a factor in this series as SDSU outfielder Chad Redfern is out for the year after last week's action. BYU returns injured players Seth King (broken finger) and Ryan Adams (broken hand) this week. Adams, 5-2, 3.24, was the Cougars' number two starter and could see a couple innings action this week according to Coach Vance Law.

"We know this is a big series and we need to have some good performances to keep ourselves in the conference race," said Law.

The Cougars are the only team to win a pair of games over the Aztecs at San Diego this season.

The BYU-SDSU games will be broadcast live locally over KSRR Radio (1400 AM). All of the games can be heard live on the Internet at goaztecs.fansonly.com/sports/mbasebl/sdsu-m-basebl-sched.html