Change can be good — especially when change-ups are involved.
USF lost key relief pitchers from last season, but is still holding its ground on the mound with new players.
Last year, Janick Serrallonga finished with a 2.13 ERA over 50 2/3 innings, and fellow senior Lawrence Pardo had a 4.72 ERA with 34 strikeouts over 34 1/3 innings, leaving room for other players to step up in the bullpen when they left.
Enter Joe Cavallaro and Tommy Eveld.
These two are new to USF baseball this season, but have made an early impact coming out of the bullpen.
Both have opposing batting averages of .143, which is tied for fifth in the AAC.
Cavallaro, a freshman out of Sarasota High School, holds the lowest ERA on the team at 0.96. Over three appearances, he has allowed one earned run in 9 1/3 innings. The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder has struck out nine and walked three.
Cavallaro (1-0) earned the win in USF’s opening game Feb. 13 against No. 17 Cal State Fullerton. In relief of starter Jimmy Herget, the right-hander struck out two in two innings of no-hit baseball.
The next day, coach Mark Kingston showed confidence in Eveld, a redshirt sophomore walk-on out of Jesuit High School.
Eveld made his first appearance Feb. 14 against No. 7 Louisville, fanning five in four shutout innings.
Kingston was impressed with Eveld’s performance — especially since he hadn’t really played in about seven years, he said.
Eveld had occupied himself with football. Positioned as a wide receiver on the USF football team, he didn’t see playing time. The 6-foot-5, 194-pounder suffered torn knee ligaments during spring practice in 2014, but has since recovered.
In four appearances, Eveld holds a 2.08 ERA after surrendering two earned runs on four hits over 8 2/3 innings.
USF (4-3-1) will likely look to Cavallaro and Eveld this weekend as the Bulls host High Point (1-4). The weekend series begins Friday at 6:30 p.m.