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Bearcats up next

South Florida baseball will travel to Cincinnati to take on the struggling Bearcats. Cincinnati is currently in 11th place in Conference USA with a 2-9-1 record. The Bulls on the other hand find themselves in the middle of the pack in fifth with a chance to improve their positioning with a good showing this weekend.

“(Since last season) they’ve (Cincinnati) lost some great players,” USF coach Eddie Cardieri said. “But like I just told our guys, the constant is they’ve got good starting pitchers. They are going to run three guys out there that are going to keep them in the game. They don’t get blown out. They’ll pitch it good enough to make all three games interesting.”

The Bulls’ victory against UCF on Tuesday was the 20th victory of the season. This is the fastest the Bulls have reached 20 wins in the past four seasons. Cardieri said he doesn’t view the victory as the mark of success for this team but does admit it is something to be proud of after starting the season with three straight losses.

“It’s a monkey off of our back,” Cardieri said. “It’s not a huge milestone, but considering how we started the season off, we got it pretty quickly.”

Tonight’s starter will be Jason Bartz (1-3), who leads the Bulls starters with a 4.36 ERA. Senior John Gorham will make his second start of the week and 42nd career start Sunday. Gorham struck out a career-high 12 batters in the Bulls 9-5 victory against UCF.

Saturday’s starter has not yet been announced, but Cardieri said it will be a decision dependent on how Cincinnati plays Friday night.

“And whoever we start on Saturday, they have to get us quality starts, and we’ll have a great chance. We’ll decide Friday night after we’ve had a chance to see them play and see who the better fit is,” Cardieri said.

Jarrett Guthrie