BYU Baseball: After a rough skid, Cougars looking for postseason

(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

Early in the season BYU Baseball appeared to be a top 25 team before having a rough skid. They are back.

Think of free throw shooting. If you miss the first one, statistically, the second shot is about 8-14% less likely to go in than if the first shot is made. Now take that and apply it to everything in baseball.

The pitching, the catching and especially the hitting are all affected by “what just happened”. If the pitcher just threw a terrible pitch, the next pitch is likely not going to be a 98 mph fastball that hits the top corner of the strike zone. If you a hitter that just swung and missed a 75 mph fastball right down the middle, you probably aren’t going to be homering the next pitch.

It goes for winning and losing as well.

If you look across baseball, teams seem to get on streaks more than any other sport. With BYU Baseball, you can see this with win streaks of five, six and eight games. They have also had stretches of losing three, three out of five and two out of three. For a team that is 31-13 having those losses so close together is nothing less than psychological on the team.

For much of the season, BYU Baseball appeared to be a top 20 team winning 12 of their first 15 games and 21 of their first 26 games. The Cougars were ranked and were about to face another streak of five games against teams that appeared to be relatively easy wins.

Then they lost three straight and five of their next eight games. They fell out of the top 25, fell to as low as fourth in the WCC rankings and things appeared to be falling apart at the wrong time as they were facing Pac-12 team Washington and had WCC leader Loyola Marymount on deck.

A five game win streak against those teams however turned the tide back to winning ways and now with only seven regular season games remaining, the Cougars are first in the WCC, were ranked No. 25 just last week, and have a real shot at postseason play.

With the Pac-12 being as strong as it is, with three teams in the Top 25 plus teams like UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara also ranked high, the Cougars may not get to host any games, but they are definitely a team that can cause an upset.

Not bad for a team who went 22-28 last season.