Bulls fight for postseason

BASEBALL GAME TIMEUSF (18-18, 6-9) at Rutgers (13-19, 5-7)When: Tonight, 7Where: Bainton FieldTV/Radio: 1010 AM

This weekend’s series between the South Florida Bulls (18-18, 6-9) and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (13-19-1, 5-7) is not just another series.

The No. 7 Scarlet Knights and No. 8 Bulls will face off at Bainton Field in Piscataway, N.J., in a three-game series that could determine the postseason fates of both teams.

Even USF coach Lelo Prado, whose philosophy is usually to take things game by game, said he feels there is a “win or go home” feeling to the series.

“The next two weekends (with series against Big East rivals Rutgers and Villanova) will decide where we are seeded in the Big East and how our season is going to turn out,” Prado said.

Senior Daniel Thomas (0-2, 4.33 ERA) will take the mound tonight for the Bulls.

Thomas said before the series against Louisville that “the first game is the most important one of all, since it sets the winning team up for a sweep.”

Freshman Randy Fontanez (2-3, 4.20), who pitched seven innings and had six earned runs in his last start, will try to get his record back up to .500 when he takes the mound Saturday.

Freshman Derrick Stultz – who is 3-3 on the season and second on the Bulls with a 2.74 ERA – will pitch in the series finale Sunday.

Keeping an intent eye on the series are the Connecticut Huskies (19-19, 6-9), who will be playing the Seton Hall Pirates over the weekend.

Depending on their performance against the Pirates, the Huskies – who are tied for eighth in the Big East with USF – could end up high as sixth in the standings or on the outside looking in at ninth place.

The same applies to the Bulls and the Scarlet Knights, who are going to be keeping their eyes on Connecticut and No. 6 Louisville (21-14, 6-6), which plays Villanova at home this weekend.