College baseball teams usually have three starting pitchers, but USF cannot seem to fill that third position, and it’s not because the Bulls haven’t tried.
In 12 games, USF has started three other pitchers besides senior David Austen and junior Jon Uhl with little success.
First up for the Bulls is a series against the 0-10 Siena Saints. The starters will be Uhl Friday, Austen Saturday and possibly freshman Chris Delaney Sunday.
“(Being winless) makes them more dangerous if you ask me because they are about due,” USF coach Eddie Cardieri said. “In baseball, anybody can beat anybody, and it’s like they are due to win. They have played a very difficult schedule to this point.”
USF tested Delaney as a starter once against Southern Illinois Feb. 23, when he gave up six runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.
“Delaney is tentative on Sunday,” Cardieri said. “We’ll take a look at that after the first two games. Sunday might be a day that we could do something with relievers to keep them sharp.”
The Bulls have had ample time to prepare after the cancellation of Tuesday’s game against Bethune-Cookman. Because of the rainout, USF has gotten three straight days of practice, which is rare based on its schedule.
“We tried to turn (the cancellation) into a positive and use the three practice days as something that we needed,” Cardieri said.
Cardieri’s main concern since the rain-out was keeping his pitchers active.
“We got them all out there, the ones that needed to go out and get some work in the intrasquad (Wednesday), and it went well,” Cardieri said. “We look forward to getting back out there again.”
After Siena, the Bulls travel south to meet the Miami Hurricanes. UM and USF will play a two-game series Tuesday and Wednesday, again with the starters undetermined.
“More than likely, it’ll be Austen on Tuesday, and Wednesday will be kind of TBA,” Cardieri said. “We won’t know until after the weekend probably. (We’ll) see how we get through the weekend and look at what we want to do on Tuesday.”
The Hurricanes are 9-3 this season, ranked 14th in the nation by Collegiate Baseball and have two national championships in the past four seasons.