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No. 3 Tulane (36-7, 14-4 C-USA) at USF (25-21, 10-7 C-USA)

When:Tonight, 7; Saturday, 7 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.

Where: Red McEwen Field

The story: The Bulls face No. 3 Tulane at home, a team that was tied for second in C-USA last season and is in a one-game lead over TCU, this season, while USF is in fourth. The Bulls have struggled recently in weekend games, losing six of their last nine games to conference teams. Sophomore righthander Casey Hudspeth (7-3) will make his 13th start tonight for USF and is boasting a team-low 3.38 ERA for starters and 76 strikeouts. But he will have to face a tough Green Wave lineup featuring five batters hitting over .300, one who has over 60 hits — Tommy Manzella — and three others who have 50-plus hits — Brad Emaus, Scott Madden and Nathan Southard. Junior Micah Owings is batting .310 and leads the team in homers (11) and has a 5-4 record and 3.54 ERA on the mound.

USF will face two pitchers with impressive records. Brian Bogusevic and J.R. Crowel have an 8-1 and 2.48 ERA and an 8-0 record and a 4.03, respectively.

Tulane has only lost 1/3 of its total games in 2004 and have not been ranked lower than No. 4 in the college baseball standings.

The Bulls have pulled together offensively in an on-and-off basis, but seniors Tim Orlosky and Jeff Baisley are batting .378 with 38 runs scored and .347 with 26 runs scored, respectively.

Keep an eye on: The entire weekend. The Green Wave has only lost four conference games — two to Louisville and one each to Houston and Southern Miss — and could easily sweep the entire series from the Bulls, but the team has showed resiliency recently and could easily pose a threat. USF has scored 266 runs this season, averaging 5.7 runs a game, though Tulane has scored 335 runs a game and averaging eight runs a game.