First-place Bulls keeping stride

The Major League Baseball regular season starts in less than a week and professional teams could play 18 to 19 games straight without a day off.

However, college baseball has a luxury. Rarely will a team have a weekday game, and games are usually played in two or three game sets held Friday through Sunday.

USF baseball is no different than its Florida (19-7, 3-3 SEC), Miami (22-7, 8-4 ACC) or FSU (27-5, 5-1 ACC) counterparts. Just this past weekend, the Bulls (17-13, 5-1 C-USA) hosted their first Conference USA home series against Memphis (7-13, 2-4 C-USA), though it’s not the weekend series’ that are plaguing the team.

It’s those rare weeknight games, usually on a Tuesday evening, that have the Bulls scratching their heads.

USF is 3-5 in weekday games, but are 14-7 in all the other weekend series, including its entry in the Rainbow Baseball Tournament, which was held in Honolulu.

The Bulls have played 30 games out of 62 scheduled, coming out a little beat up due to injuries and with an overall record slightly over the .500 mark.

The Bulls are sitting nicely atop C-USA, tied with Louisville, with their 5-1 record, which is ahead of No. 4 Tulane. USF faces the Green Wave April 29 through May 1, and of course, anything can happen until then.

Tulane is 4-2 and, even earlier into conference play, ranks third with five other teams, including TCU, who just dropped out of the national rankings.

What really helps the Bulls, besides the bat of Jeff Baisley — batting .376 with 44 hits, 37 RBI and 14 doubles, which are all-team highs — or his brother Brian — batting .301 with 31 hits, 22 RBI and eight doubles — or an extremely young pitching staff — which has a 4.88 ERA and has given up only 164 runs this season — is that all the weekday games that have been an aching sore for the team are all against non-conference teams.

USF plays a four-game set with Stetson — the first was a 7-6 loss at Melching Field on March 8, the second will be at 7 tonight — in which all the games are on Tuesday evenings. The Bulls also face No. 35 UCF (25-5, 7-1 A-SUN) three times and all those games are on Tuesday as well.

USF will be looking to rebound from a 15-5 slaughter from Memphis on Sunday, after beating the Tigers 6-5 on Friday and 8-7 on Saturday.

Third baseman Jeff Baisley is currently in the midst of a 13-game hitting streak dating back to the 2-1 loss to Wichita State (22-6) on March 3. Jeff and Brian Baisley are tied for second on the team in home runs with four, two behind senior right fielder Bryan Hierlmeier, who went 2-for-14 over the weekend against Memphis.