USF starting pitcher John Gorham had his knee scoped on Jan. 23, two weeks before the Bulls’ baseball season opened against Stetson on Feb. 9. Gorham was ready by the opening series despite having just had surgery to repair a slight tear of the meniscus in his right knee. He made a relief appearance but left the game after one inning of work complaining of stiffness in his recently repaired knee.
One week forward from opening day the Bulls sat 0-3 going into Saturday’s game at Jacksonville. The Bulls were in desperate need of that elusive first win, as was the last two years’ Friday starter – Gorham.
“I figured someone had to step up and give a good performance,” said Gorham. “We had been pitching well and playing good baseball, but no one had come up with the big hit or the big pitch for us in the first three games.”
Big pitches were what Gorham was ready to throw. Nine innings of them to be exact. The effort resulted in a 6-1 victory for the Bulls and Gorham’s first win of the season. The complete game performance garnered the senior pitcher Conference USA Pitcher of the Week honors.
“I didn’t strike out a lot of guys, but I let them put the ball in play and let the defense do the work,” said Gorham. “I was getting ahead of guys and didn’t walk anyone.”
USF coach Eddie Cardieri said he was not surprised by Gorham’s performance, stating that the position Gorham has earned on his staff over the years was because of pitching like he did on Saturday.
“It was a vintage John Gorham game,” Cardieri said. “Strikes with three pitches and control. He was very good.”
The Bulls will host Jacksonville today at 3 p.m. at Red McEwen Stadium.
- Jarrett Guthrie covers baseball and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org