Baseball hosts Marshall

The Bulls are looking for something to turn a 3-4 start around — and they may have found what they’re looking for.

After closing last weekend on an offensive high, the USF baseball team hosts three games against Marshall at Red McEwen Field this weekend, starting 7 p.m. Friday.

Sophomore Junior Carlin and the Bulls racked up 31 runs in the final three games of last weekend’s tournament in Fort Myers.

“Our confidence level is extremely high right now,” Carlin said. “It has to be — you never know what can happen when you head into a series with your head down.”

The Bulls beat Towson and Samford but lost to Boston College and Florida Gulf Coast. Carlin went 5-for-5 against Towson, but said this weekend’s games are crucial.

“We’re ready to play Marshall,” he said. “We feel this series could be a major turning point in our season.”

The Bulls (3-4) send sophomore Randy Fontanez to the mound Friday.

Prado said Fontanez has been one of the Bulls’ most consistent starters, despite a 1-0 record. Fontanez has the lowest opponent batting average (.235) of the starting pitchers.

“He should be 2-0 with the way he’s pitched,” Prado said. “He’s such a competitor.”

Fontanez has pitched more than seven innings in each of his starts this year, including a complete game loss in his last outing against Boston College on Feb. 26.

Sophomore Derrick Stultz is expected to take the hill Saturday.

Stultz pitched well in both his starts this year, giving up three earned runs in 11.1 innings with 11 K’s.

“Derrick Stultz and Randy Fontanez are two great pitchers,” Prado said. “I feel really good about those two guys right now.”

Sophomore Matt Stull allowed four earned runs on eight hits in six innings during his first start of the season against Samford last Friday.

“He pitched well,” Prado said. “We didn’t do him any favors in the field.”

The Bulls committed two errors in the Samford game.

On offense, Prado said sophomore third baseman Jon Koscso is making his presence felt in the top of the lineup. Kosco is second on the team in batting average (.400) and leads the team with 12 hits.

“He plays so hard,” Prado said. “If there were 35 Koscsos on the team, I wouldn’t have to come to practice every day.”

USF plays Marshall (4-3) at 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday. It will be the first time the schools have ever met.