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Mohl to throw out first pitch in Sunday’s Rays game

After missing out on the opportunity four years ago, USF baseball coach Billy Mohl (center) will toss out the ceremonial first pitch in the Rays game against the Twins on Sunday. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

As a part of USF Day with the Tampa Bay Rays, coach Billy Mohl will have the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in Sunday afternoon’s game against the Minnesota Twins.

USF Day is a yearly event put together by the USF Alumni Association which gives fans the opportunity to come out to Tropicana Field and experience an MLB game, while simultaneously supporting the Bulls and receiving various items.

This year, fans who attend will receive a Bulls/Rays cobranded steel tumbler and a Bulls/Rays cobranded hat. The deadline to purchase tickets was Friday.

The opportunity to participate in the toss came about after Bill McCausland, vice president of the USF Alumni Association, reached out to Mohl and pitched the idea.

Mohl said he was eager to take the offer, not only because it’s a unique experience, but also because he was supposed to do it four years ago.

“I was actually supposed to do it right when I got the head coaching job [at USF],” Mohl said. “And I missed it because I was out of town, so I’m excited [for this time].

“I missed out on that opportunity four years ago so now I’m looking forward to it, and having [former USF pitcher Shane McClanahan] over on the Rays will be a cool experience.”

Mohl was an assistant coach at USF when McClanahan arrived to the team in 2016, but by the time McClanahan was drafted in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft, Mohl was elevated to the head coaching job.

In 152.1 career innings pitched with the Bulls, McClanahan posted a 3.31 ERA and struck out 224 batters. He also only gave up eight home runs in his time at USF.

“I texted [McClanahan] this morning about how proud I am of him,” Mohl said. “Going into your first full major league season and putting up the numbers that he’s been putting up [has been impressive]. Talking to some of their higher ups in the organization, they have nothing but great things and high expectations for him.”

The Rays will play the Twins on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. The game will be televised on Bally Sports Sun and broadcast on WDAE 620 AM/95.3 FM, WMGG/WTMP.