BASEBALL GAME TIME
Jacksonville (4-1) at USF (2-1)
When: Today, 3 p.m.
Where: Red McEwen Field
Projected starters: LHP Davis Bilardello (0-0) vs. RHP D.J. Ackley (0-1).
The story: After opening up its season winning two of three against Northwestern, the baseball team will play host to the Dolphins, a team that has outscored its first five opponents 49-13.In USF’s last game, the Bulls beat Northwestern 9-8 in the bottom of the ninth inning. The game was tied 8-8 with the bases loaded until freshman shortstop Addison Maruszak drew a walk, which drove home the winning run.
In its first three outings USF, which has outscored its opponents 14-12, has a .214 batting average. Jacksonville is also batting .214.
Bilardello, who will make his first start of the season, pitched two innings in the Bulls’ 2-0 loss to Northwestern on Saturday. He faced eight batters, gave up two hits, struck out three and allowed no runs.
Bilardello finished last season 0-2 with 35 innings pitched and a 2.83 ERA.
Jacksonville’s last contest was an 8-2 victory over Bethune-Cookman on Sunday.
In five games, the Dolphins have two players hitting over .400 (Thomas LePage at .476 and Justin Young at .429) and five more batting over .300.
Ackley, who has the only loss this season for Jacksonville, has made three appearances, pitched 5.1 innings and allowed a run.
USF leads the all-time series 46-45, with 32 of the wins coming under the guidance of coach Eddie Cardieri.
The two teams last faced each other Feb. 26, 2005, in an 11-inning 5-4 win for the Bulls.Keep an eye on: sophomore third baseman Dexter Butler. Three games in, Butler leads USF with a .455 batting average. After starting 61 of 64 games last season, he finished with 55 hits and a .246 average. In Sunday’s win over the Wildcats, Butler batted 3-for-4 and had an RBI.
– Kevin Smetana