Senior pitcher John Gorham will make his 40th career start tonight as USF travels to Conference USA opponent Memphis this weekend for the Bulls? second C-USA series.
The Bulls took two of three against Saint Louis in their first conference series March 15-17.
Gorham goes into the game with 302 career innings, ranking him with only eight other Bulls in baseball?s 37-year history at USF.
“Here is a guy that is just so reliable, and I don?t want to jinx him, but he?s that reliable,” Cardieri said of his veteran pitcher. “He takes his turn every time, and I just hope that he can stand up for the rest of this season, because it will have been a heck of a career to log that many starts and that many innings. He?s just a guy who takes his regular turn and is such a bulldog.”
Memphis is struggling currently with a 3-11 opening to the season and a 0-3 start in C-USA play after dropping all three to Louisville last weekend. Cardieri said that despite the Tigers record, he is not going to take a lackluster look toward this weekend?s series.
“I expect (Memphis) to be pretty good,” Cardieri said. “I thought that after last year that they would, this year, be one of the better teams in our league. I think they got off to a slow start hitting, but their starting pitching has been very good.”
The Bulls may be without the services of starting second baseman Mike Macaluso, who left Tuesday night?s 12-7 win against Vermont in the second inning with a dislocated finger. Macaluso injured his finger while stealing second after reaching on a single in the second inning. He is 6-for-7 on steal attempts this season.
“It could be anywhere from two days to a week,” Cardieri said about Macaluso?s recovery time. “He can get his hand around a bat, but he can?t really grab the bat yet to hit it. So I?d say it is probably overly optimistic that he could play this weekend.”
Cardieri did say that Allen Shirley is ready to get back into the mix at catcher. Currently the Bulls leading hitter with a .438 batting average, Shirley missed nine games with a broken bone in his right hand. Shirley made his return in relief of Devin Ivany Tuesday in the eighth inning, although he did not have an at-bat in the game.
Jason Bartz and Jon Uhl will make the starts on Saturday and Sunday, with the games starting at 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
- Jarrett Guthrie covers baseball and can be reached at email@example.com