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BYU baseball: Utes up next, Rucker wins another honor, Cougars ranked No. 29

Junior right-hander Mike Rucker was named the Rawlings West Coach Conference Pitcher of the Week for his performance last week against Niagara, and BYU baseball is ranked No. 29.

This is the first national ranking for BYU baseball since being ranked No. 22 in 1994. The No. 29 ranking was by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association.

Rucker struck out a career-high 10 batters in a 14-1 victory and had only one base on balls. He set Niagara down in order in the first, second, fourth and eighth innings. He recorded three called strikeouts in the fifth inning. Six of his 10 strikeouts were called. He struck out two batters in the seventh and two in the eighth. He threw 102 pitches.

Rucker, now 3-0, lowered his earned run average from 3.86 to 2.59, giving up an unearned run in the third when he lost his no-hit bid. He gave up three hits, all singles, two in the third and one in the fifth.

This is the second time this season Rucker has been honored by the league. Gonzaga’s Taylor Jones was selected as the WCC Player of the Week.

Fans will have to wait until Thursday to see Rucker in action again as the Cougars start league play in a three-game series when they host Pacific (6-10).

Toss BYU baseball’s glowing 15-1 record aside because rival Utah is coming to town for a Tuesday night tilt at Larry H. Miller Field at 6 p.m. Maverik Buffo (3-0,3.57) is scheduled to start against Utah, as BYU will throw many of its staff against the Utes.

Buffo will start again in Friday’s game against Pacific at 6 p.m. Lefty Hayden Rogers (2-0, 3.05) will be BYU’s starter on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Utes, 3-10, and Cougars will debut BYUtv’s baseball lineup for the season. BYUtv will also televise Thursday and Saturday’s Pacific games, while Friday’s contest will be carried by All of this week’s games will be broadcast live on ESPN960 AM radio.

Ralph R. Zobell has worked for BYU Athletic Media Relations in various capacities for over 30 years. You can view his bio at or contact him at