Bulls welcome in-state foe

Despite recent success, the USF baseball team is not satisfied with starting the season so poorly.

The Bulls (13-15, 5-1), who have won 13 of their last 18 games after beginning 1-9, will square off against the UCF Knights (18-12) tonight at 7 at Red McEwen Field for a chance to sweep the season series.

“Right now – with the way we started – every game’s important,” said sophomore third baseman Daniel Rockhold, who homered in USF’s 5-0 win against Cincinnati on Friday. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”

The Bulls have played well in conference, taking five of their first six Big East games.

Last weekend, they took two of three games in Cincinnati, with the loss coming in a complete game by junior Randy Fontanez.

“We probably should have swept them,” said USF coach Lelo Prado.

USF beat UCF 4-0 in Orlando on March 16 thanks to a complete-game shutout by senior Teddy Kaufman.

“Last time, we played well against them, but every game’s different,” said junior Jonathan Koscso, who is second on the team with 21 RBI.

For the third straight week, someone on the team received Big East Pitcher of the Week honors. This time, it was junior left-hander Andrew Barbosa, who struck out 16 in his complete-game shutout against Cincinnati last weekend.Kaufman and Fontanez have also been recognized for complete-game shutouts.

Kaufman, however, did not start last weekend because of tightness in his forearm. Prado said he is uncertain if he will be able to take the mound tonight.

The game will air on Bright House Sports Network. USF leads the all-time series with UCF 55-50.

“I feel good about where we’re at,” Prado said. “Hopefully, we’ll continue to play well.”