The BYU baseball team is heading into West Coast Conference play on a positive note.

On Tuesday, the Cougars snapped a four-game losing streak with a one-hit, 7-0 shutout victory over rival Utah at Miller Park. 

“Anytime you win, and win the way we did (against the Utes), it’s a confidence-builder. Hopefully, we can start believing that and carry some momentum into conference play.” — BYU coach Trent Pratt

Now BYU (5-10) enters its final season in the WCC with a series that starts Thursday against Loyola Marymount (7-8) in Los Angeles at George C. Page Stadium. 

“Anytime you win, and win the way we did (against the Utes), it’s a confidence-builder,” said BYU coach Trent Pratt. “Hopefully, we can start believing that and carry some momentum into conference play.”

The Cougars were picked to finish third in the league in the preseason poll, but BYU has experienced its struggles this season. 

“Up and down,” Pratt said, describing the campaign so far. “We’ve had good moments and bad moments. We’ve played seven innings good and then maybe lost a lead late in the game. There’s some inexperience on the mound and some inexperience in spots.” 

Before the Utah game, Pratt tried to set a tone with his players. 

“We hadn’t played great at times. But we had played good baseball at times; maybe just hadn’t done a couple of right things to win,” Pratt said. “We said, ‘Hey, we’ve gotta play better. We’ve gotta play better defense. We can’t make errors and we can’t give teams chances when we have a lead.

“We’ve gotta put ’em away.’ That was it. Just let them know that we believed in them. I believe we’re better than our record shows. They showed that they can do it today.”

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How BYU’s pitching, defense resulted in a one-hitter, and a shutout victory, over rival Utah

Cougar pitcher Mason Olson, who started against Utah and pitched four scoreless innings, said Tuesday’s victory helped his team feel “confident” entering WCC play. 

“We’re excited for it,” Olson said. “We’re ready to be done with the preseason and turn the page.”

BYU has been without infielder Brock Watkins, who suffered a hamstring injury. The Cougars are hoping to have him back in the lineup soon. 

“With Brock Watkins being hurt, some guys have had to step in and do some things,” Pratt said. “We’re going to keep playing hard and we’re going to find a way to get it done and get it going.”

Fresh off a win over Utah, which halted a four-game losing streak, the Cougars are optimistic moving forward.

“It’s good to go into conference with that,” said Olson.