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Game Time Baseball

UMass (0-0) at USF (5-9)

When: Tonight, 7

Where: Red McEwen Field

The story: With Big East play still more than over a week away and the Bulls nursing a 5-9 record, USF will host University of Massachusetts this weekend. RHP Casey Hudspeth (1-2, 4.26 ERA) will make the start tonight and leads the team with 27 strikeouts. RHP Daniel Thomas will make the start Saturday with a 1-2 record and 3.18 ERA.

The Bulls were reeling from a three-game sweep by Illinois last weekend but are coming off a season-high 17 runs scored against Penn on Tuesday. In the game, freshman shortstop Addison Maruszak went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI, and senior catcher Brian Baisley went 2-for-4 with three RBI.

However, USF’s starting pitching has been struggling, giving up 35 early runs over the course of the season, while relief – which has mainly been comprised of Chase Lirette, James Rowe and Jim Cassidy – has only given up a total of 10 earned runs. The offense has been slow coming around this season but has only been outscored by opponents by four runs and outhit by only two.

Senior Kris Howell is batting a team-high .368 and has 21 hits. Maruszak is batting .351 with three doubles and seven RBI, while Baisley has 15 hits and seven RBI.

This weekend’s series is the first of the season for the Minutemen. Returning after a 16-33 season in 2005 are catcher Bryan Garrity and first baseman/RHP Bryan Adamski. Garrity is the team’s top returning hitter after batting .264 with 42 hits and 20 RBI. Adamski batted .263 on 41 hits and 27 RBI.

Keep an eye on: third baseman Dexter Butler. The sophomore went 4-for-5 with three RBI on Tuesday and is batting .309 on the season at the eighth spot in the lineup after jumping up to the third spot earlier in the season. Butler has also added 17 hits, three doubles and four RBI this season.

– Mike Camunas