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USF hosts No. 5 Florida

ORACLE FILE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

Coming off a 2-1 start in their first weekend under new coach Mark Kingston, the Bulls are set for another tough matchup with No. 5 Florida and its dynamic offense tonight. 

USF comes into tonight’s game with wins against No. 17 Cal State Fullerton and Alabama State, but a loss to No. 7 Louisville. 

USF sophomore pitcher Tommy Peterson is slated for his first start of the season against Florida, which has started the season by sweeping Rhode Island in a three-game series, including a dominant 22-3 win.

The 6-foot-1 right-hander pitched in relief against Cal State, striking out four batters in two innings and earning the save. 

“Before I set personal goals as a pitcher, my most important job is to put myself and my team in position to win every time I go out there, whether I am starting or relieving,” Peterson said. “Since it’s my first start of the season and the first home game, there’s a little added intensity.”

In addition to quality pitching, USF will hope to keep its bats hot against the high-scoring Gators, who have combined for 37 runs in three games. 

USF pitchers had success with fooling batters in their first weekend of play, throwing 15 strikeouts against Cal State and 37 over the three-game span. 

Nine of those strikeouts came from junior Jimmy Herget, who was named to the AAC honor roll this week for his performance against Cal State on Friday. 

Herget and Peterson work closely with each other daily to help push one another to new pitching heights. 

“Jimmy and I have been close since freshman year, and we feed off of each other and work out together every day, and we pick part of each other’s game that we can improve on,” Peterson said. “He’s successful, so it’s important for me to learn from him to improve my game also.”

The Bulls take on the Gators at the USF baseball stadium at 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on BullsCast.