After posting 14 hits in each of its last two games, the USF baseball team will take its hot offense to Deland for a non-conference matchup with No. 21 Stetson tonight.
The offense has been slow to catch up to pitching, which has been one of USF’s greatest strengths this season, but first baseman Todd Brazeal said he believes the offense may have turned the corner.
“At the beginning of the year … pitching was carrying us,” Brazeal said. “We were hitting here and there, but we weren’t consistent. (Assistant coach Chris) Heintz is stressing on it that we’re to be a consistent team.”
Eight of nine starters in Sunday’s lineup recorded a hit, the exception being catcher Andrew Longley, who went 0-for-1, though he did record an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.
Sophomore outfielder Alex Mendez went 4-for-5 during the Rutgers series to raise his batting average to .261
“It’s good when you see Alex Mendez and those guys coming around,” coach Lelo Prado said. “It gives us options, it gives us a chance to give some guys days off. They’re making better progress; they’re working harder; they’re really zoning in at batting practice and things like that.”
Senior outfielder/pitcher Junior Carlin went 2-for-5 Sunday to extend his hit streak to 11 games.
“(Carlin is) a senior,” Prado said. “We expect that out of him. I knew sooner or later he’d come around; he’s too good of a player. He’s done it for three years, I knew he would eventually come out of it.”
USF (15-16, 5-4) split its two games against Stetson (25-7, 12-3 Atlantic Sun) last season, losing 6-5 on the road but winning 9-3 at Red McEwen Field.
First pitch at Melching Field is set for 6:30 p.m.