After a shaky start to the season, the Bulls are starting to string wins together.
Coming off a three-game sweep of Rutgers, USF (8-7) will go for its seventh consecutive win tonight when it hosts Stetson at 7 at Red McEwen Field.
“We’re coming together a little bit,” said redshirt sophomore Ryan Lockwood, who had
eight hits in the Rutgers series. “We’re playing for each other more than the individual
Junior Teddy Kaufman is scheduled to start on the mound as the Bulls look to tie their longest win streak in three years. The Bulls won seven straight last year in a two-week stretch during March.
In his last start, Kaufman pitched a complete game in USF’s 6-1 win over FAMU on Tuesday.
The Bulls, who started the season 1-3, have used solid pitching and defense lately, but their offense has been the main reason for success, said USF coach Lelo Prado.
“(Hitting coach) Bryant (Ward) does a great job with these guys,” he said. “He makes sure they stay focused on what we try to teach here. We’re not a home-run hitting club, so we have to stay in the middle of the field, and these guys have done a great job.”
The Bulls hit .422 as a team in their sweep of Rutgers, and have scored 13 or more runs in six of their 20 games this year. USF’s team batting average is .323, third in the conference.
USF hits the road Wednesday when it travels to Daytona Beach to take on Bethune-Cookman. The Bulls beat the Wildcats 7-3 on March 15 in the Bulls Baseball Classic tournament.
A cause for concern came last weekend as starter Matt Stull left Sunday’s game in the second inning with an apparent hand injury. Prado said Stull will be re-evaluated after his MRI.
“He said he didn’t have any feeling in his fingers,” Prado said. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
Prado said the health of a starting pitcher is always a concern but the team has a lot of depth.
“It is (a concern), but we have plenty of arms, and I’m sure (pitching coach) Lazer (Collazo) will have someone ready to go any time we play,” Prado said.
Freshman left-hander Matt Reed is expected to start in Wednesday’s game at
Bethune-Cookman. Reed threw a complete-game shutout last Wednesday against FAMU, allowing only five hits while striking out five and walking two.
The Bulls beat Stetson twice last season.