Surging Bulls host Irish to open Big East play

USF coach Lelo Prado said there’s not a better way to open Big East play with the way his team is performing.

Riding a three-game winning streak, USF (8-13) looks to keep its momentum going when it hosts Notre Dame (8-11) for a three-game series this weekend – the first on Friday at 7 p.m. – at Red McEwen Field.

“This club right now is feeling good about themselves,” said Prado, whose team has won five of its last six after starting the season 3-12. “This is what I expected all year.”

Consistency at the plate and on defense has the team looking more like last year’s squad, which finished second in the Big East. The Bulls, picked to finish second in the Big East this season, have scored 23 runs in their last two games, while the starting rotation has turned in four quality starts in the last five games.

USF racked up 13 hits Tuesday in a win against North Florida despite three errors.

“We’ve got some good hitting,” Prado said. “We just need to clean up the defense a little bit.”

The Fighting Irish have lost four of their last five, but they beat Ball State 11-5 on Tuesday.

“This is going to be a really big series against Notre Dame,” said junior outfielder Junior Carlin, who went 2-for-4 with three RBI against North Florida. “We just have to come out here and play as a team.”