Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
BYU’s Jordan Wood pitches against Utah at Miller Park in Provo on Tuesday, May 09, 2017.
PROVO — While BYU ranks No. 6 nationally in both batting and scoring and is known for its offense, the Cougars wouldn’t have advanced to their first NCAA Regional in 15 years without robust, consistent pitching performances.
During last weekend’s West Coast Conference Tournament, BYU’s starters and relievers combined to anchor the Cougars while they waited for their dormant bats to break out.
That finally happened — and then some — scoring 26 runs and collecting 37 hits in two games against top-seed Gonzaga last Saturday.
In the end, BYU won four consecutive elimination games, claimed its first WCC Tournament championship and earned the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
No doubt, the Cougars will need more masterful efforts on the mound if they hope to make some noise in the Stanford Regional at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond this weekend.
“Now that we know we can do it, we’re expecting it. It’s not a hope anymore. It’s an expectation,” said starter Hayden Rogers (8-2), who beat Saint Mary’s last week after throwing 6.1 innings, giving up eight hits and two earned runs and striking out four. “To have guys step up like that, even guys out of the bullpen, everyone stepped up last weekend. We know that if one of us struggles, someone else will pick…