Pitching carrying USF baseball's hot start

By Josh Fiallo, Asst. Sports Editor
On March 28, 2017

ORACLE FILE PHOTO/JACKIE BENITEZ

With a 22-3 record, USF is off to its best start in school history.

The hot start stems partly from the Bulls' dominance on the mound, with USF pitchers producing stats in 2017 that are comparable to those of the highest-ranked teams in the nation.

Thus far in the season, the Bulls rank in the top 10 in four different pitching categories – ERA, WHIP, strikeout-to-walk ratio and strikeouts per nine innings.

With starters Phoenix Sanders, and Shane McClanahan leading the way, the Bulls collect more strikeouts per nine innings than any other team in the country, averaging 11.3 per game.

Sanders, by himself, records an average of 13.15 strikeouts per game, putting him at No. 16 in the nation individually, with McClanahan not far behind in 24th.

“He throws a lot of pitches for strikes and that’s what makes him what he is,” coach Mark Kingston said after a March 17 win against Harvard. “He’s not scared to compete, and he’ll throw any pitch to anybody.”

To go along with the strikeouts, the Bulls are consistently keeping opposing teams off the scoreboard.

Allowing an average of 2.05 earned runs per game, the Bulls have the second lowest ERA in Division I baseball, with No. 1 overall Oregon State being the only team ahead of them.

The low ERA has been the biggest improvement for the Bulls' pitching staff from last season, where the Bulls allowed an average of 4.43 runs per nine innings pitched, which ranked 126th in the country.

Despite the phenomenal pitching from the Bull, USF, for the most part, is on the fringe of the most recent rankings.

Of the five rankings listed on NCAA.com, the Bulls are only ranked in the top 25 of the RPI rankings at 15, and 25th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s poll.

Despite what the rankings read, the Bulls aren’t too concerned.

“We just take each game one game at a time,” USF starter Ryan Valdes said after defeating Jacksonville. “We’re not worried about a streak, or what the rankings say. We’re focused on the next game.”

 

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More usforacle News Articles

Recent usforacle News Articles

Discuss This Article

MOST POPULAR USFORACLE

GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY

How do you most commonly view stories from the Oracle

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER

TODAY'S PRINT EDITION

Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
OR
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format