A slow start to the season didn’t discourage the Bulls, who have used solid pitching and timely hitting to put together a six-game win streak.
USF (11-13) looks to make it seven tonight, as senior right-hander Andrew Salgueiro will take the mound on the road against Stetson at 6:30.
Perhaps the biggest boost on offense lately has been USF’s production with two outs. On Sunday, when the Bulls sealed a series sweep against Notre Dame, they scored seven runs in the second inning – all with two outs.
“It says a lot about this club. We’re going to keep attacking until that third out is made, but until that’s done, we’re coming at you,” said junior center fielder Ryan Lockwood.
Lockwood, who scored in the second inning Sunday, has stepped into the leadoff spot well, hitting .303 and holding a .386 on-base percentage.
“I’m just trying to do my job,” he said. “Right now, my job is to get on base, score runs and steal bases, and I’m trying to do that to the best of my ability.”
Sophomore Sam Mende’s return to the lineup in the DH spot has also contributed to the boost. Mende, who still has his mouth wired shut after suffering a broken jaw two weeks ago, said he hopes to be back on defense at shortstop this weekend at Cincinnati. He will meet with his doctor Wednesday to get more information.
“That’s baseball,” said Mende, who still leads the Bulls with a .360 average despite only plyaing in 14 games this season. “It could be worse.”