When: Tonight, 7Where: Red McEwen Field
The baseball team is off to a remarkable start, considering they have the same players they did last season.
“We have all the same people from last year,” centerfielder Joey Angelberger said Sunday following the Bulls’ 13-1 win against Manhattan College. “But the attitude is different.”
USF has a 9-1 record, with its only blemish from when it lost to Stetson on the road a week ago. Monday, however, the Bulls were ranked No. 30 in the country, according to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
The Bulls have five batters hitting above .400 with at least 28 plate appearances. Junior Walter Diaz leads the team with 18 hits, while second baseman Dexter Butler leads the team with a .471 batting average.”We’re going to have to play a good game against Florida,” Butler said Sunday.
Florida is off to a sluggish start at 5-6, but has lost two games to No. 15 Miami and a 14-6 thumping by No. 2 Florida State.The Gators are led by first baseman Matt LaPorta, who is batting .424 and has 14 hits in 34 plate appearances. The senior is also tied in the lead for home runs with four.
However, Florida’s pitching has struggled, giving up 5.07 ERA to opponents, while the Bulls pitching staff was nearly perfect over the weekend, giving up just one run over three games.
Senior pitcher Danny Otero is 3-0 in as many starts and has a 0.41 ERA. The Duke transfer won’t start tonight, but was named Big East Pitcher of the Week Monday for the second time this season.
Keep an eye on: first baseman Brandin Daniel. The junior is one of the five players batting above .400. Daniel has a team-high 17 RBI, including going 4-for-4 with three RBI on Sunday.