USF pitcher nabs national award

No. 1 starting pitcher Casey Hudspeth was named Louisville Slugger’s National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball on Monday.

In his first start Friday, the right-handed Sarasota native struck out 10 batters in five innings while allowing only four hits and no earned runs, earning USF its fourth consecutive opening-game victory.

Hudspeth, a junior who could make this his last season if he were to be drafted early by a major league team, said he didn’t know of the award most of Monday.

“I actually just found out an hour ago,” Hudspeth said Monday afternoon. “It’s a great honor, and I really didn’t expect (the award) at all.”

In 2005, Hudspeth posted an 8-6 record in 17 appearances, throwing 95 strikeouts in 104 1/3 innings. While Hudspeth – whose fastball is between 90-94 mph – had a 3.97 ERA, he still feels like last season was a failure.

“I think last year was a terrible season,” said Hudspeth, who posted an 8-4 record as a freshman in 2004. “But I’m not obsessed about it at all. I worked out all summer and in the fall so I wouldn’t fall off again.”

Hudspeth made one appearance with the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod League, allowing two runs in one-third inning during the summer of 2005.