Road trip ends in Boca

BASEBALL GAME TIMEUSF (20-19, 8-10) at FAU (23-15, 10-6)When: Tonight, 6:30 Where: FAU StadiumTV/Radio: 1010 AM

The South Florida baseball team (20-19, 8-10) finishes a seven-day, six-game road trip tonight at 6:30 against the Florida Atlantic University Owls (23-15,10-6) in Boca Raton.

The Bulls are looking to start the week with a victory against the Owls. The win would give them a 5-1 mark on the trip and would mark the resurgence of a team that had lost four of its previous six games before the trip.

South Florida had won four games in a row before dropping its last game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a 6-5, 10-inning loss.

“(Tonight’s game) is all about momentum,” USF pitching coach Lazer Collazo said. “If we win the game and we finish the road trip 5-1, then we will have enough momentum to face Villanova during this weekend’s Big East series. If we lose and we finish 4-2 with our second loss in a row, it is going to be hard to get confidence back, but not impossible.”

If anyone knows what momentum feels like, it is USF center fielder Ryan Lockwood. He has started every game this season and is on a 22-game hitting streak that started March 16 against Seton Hall.

During the streak, Lockwood has batted .427 (38 for 91) with 20 RBIs.

The redshirt freshman also leads the Bulls with a .375 batting average. Despite batting third or fourth in the lineup throughout the season, Lockwood has yet to record his first career home run.

USF freshman starting pitcher Matt Stull (3-1, 4.08 ERA) is a game-time decision to pitch tonight. Stull pitched to two batters during the 10th inning of Sunday’s game against Rutgers.

FAU is third in the Sun Belt Conference, one game behind second place Troy and 2 1/2 games behind Sun Belt leader Louisiana-Monroe.

The Owls upset the Miami Hurricanes (31-3) – the top team in the nation according to the latest NCAA rankings – at Miami 6-3 April 9.

Seven days later, FAU held a 10-3 lead in the fourth inning and was one out away from taking two of three from the Hurricanes, ultimately losing 12-10 on a two-run home run by Yonder Alonso that capped off a nine-run rally by Miami.

The same team that hung tough against the No.1 team in the nation went on to split its past four games against the 11-19 New York Institute of Technology, getting shutout 2-0 last Sunday.

With 17 games left in the season, nine inside the Big East, Collazo wants USF to finish strong and find its true potential.

“If we finish the season with a winning record, we are going to be okay,” Collazo said.