BASEBALL GAME TIME
Stetson (25-16, 10-8) at USF (19-22, 8-10)
When: Tonight, 7
Where: Red McEwen Field
The story: The USF baseball team will face state rival Stetson tonight in a game that marks the 141st meeting between the teams. The last matchup was Feb. 26 and ended in a 7-2 USF loss. Stetson leads the all-time series 71-69.
The Bulls (19-21, 8-9 Big East) have won five of their last eight games, bringing their record to two games below .500, and will be looking for a solid performance from projected starter Yuri Higgins to help add another win to their record.
Higgins (3-2) is posting a 3.73 ERA through 50 2/3 innings pitched this season and is holding opposing batters to a .225 average.
In an 11-9 loss to Pittsburgh last weekend, the Bulls – who have recorded only 12 home runs all season – hit five balls over the fence, but still couldn’t manage to pull out the win.
USF will look to seniors Kris Howell and Brian Baisley to try to maintain the Bulls’ recent offensive surge.
Howell is leading the Bulls in batting average (.344) and hits (53) this season, while Baisley is posting a .485 slugging percentage and has 18 RBI.
USF will face Stetson for the final time this season on May 9 in one of seven straight road games.
Stetson (25-16, 10-8 A-Sun) will enter today’s contest riding a five-game winning streak and has won 13 of its last 15 games.
The Hatters also boast last week’s Atlantic Sun Conference Pitcher of the Week in sophomore Corey Kluber. The right-hander is 5-1 this season while posting a 2.53 ERA and leading the A-Sun in opposing batting average (.213). In his last three starts, Kluber is 2-0 and has an ERA of 1.89.
Keep an eye on: Stetson’s Chris Johnson. The sophomore infielder has been a force at the plate for the Hatters this season, leading the team in batting average (.362), hits (59), RBI (36) and slugging percentage (.503). Johnson has also performed solid on defense. The sophomore is tied for the team lead in fielding percentage, posting a mark of .994.
– Eric Moeller