Time to stampede, Bulls!
Click here to read more about USF Week events, including a pool party, Bullstock and Rocky’s Birthday Bash. 

Headed to Orlando

BASEBALL GAME TIMEUSF (13-13, 4-5) at UCF (22-6, 2-4)When: Tonight, 7Where: Jay Bergman FieldTV/Radio: 1010 AM

The South Florida baseball team (13-13, 4-5) continues its instate rivalry with the No. 25 University of Central Florida Knights tonight at 7 at Jay Bergman Field in Orlando.

The meeting is the first of four meetings between the Bulls and the Knights this season.

UCF leads the all-time series between the two teams with a 49-47 edge, but it lost two of three to the Bulls last season.

Matchups between USF and UCF have been a staple of college baseball since 1984. Since then, the Bulls and the Knights have played against each other every year.

“UCF has a great team this season and they will be more than ready to face us this year, especially after having lost last year’s series,” coach Lelo Prado said. Prado is still affected by the flu and it’s unlikely he will coach tonight’s game. If he can’t make it, assistant coach Lazer Collazzo will fill in as head coach.

The Bulls come off of losing two of three games to Big East rival Georgetown in a series that featured improved starting pitching but a flawed bullpen performance for USF.

Randy Fontanez, Matt Quevedo and Derrick Stultz – USF’s three starters last weekend – each went six innings or more in what seems to be becoming a strength for the Bulls.

Meanwhile, a bullpen that had been the Bulls’ strong point throughout the year struggled badly against Georgetown, allowing nine earned runs in 6 2/3 innings of work.

“The bullpen has been doing a good job throughout the season, but we have been putting (opposing players) on base early in the inning lately and haven’t executed after the seventh inning,” Collazzo said.

The nationally ranked Knights are 22-6 and 20-2 outside Conference USA – the second best start in the history of the school – and are trying to bounce back from a 10-1 loss to the East Carolina Pirates, a C-USA opponent, last Sunday. The Knights have also lost four of their last six games.

Right-hander Matt Stull (1-0, 2.13 ERA), a redshirt freshman who averages one strikeout per inning, will take the mound for USF.

Junior right-hander Caleb Graham is listed to start for Central Florida. Graham (1-1) has a 6.46 ERA this season and has struck out 17 batters in just 15 innings this season.

Both teams have very different needs. USF is fighting to stay at or above .500 and attempts to stay in the field of eight that qualify for the Big East Tournament. The Bulls are in eighth place.

The Knights aim to become a Top 25 team and continue to make history for a team with College World Series aspirations.