USF pitching coach announces departure from program

In their second matchup against No. 15 ECU on Saturday, the Bulls’ pitching room recorded a 15.75 ERA. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

After losing in the American Baseball Championship semifinals against No. 15 ECU, pitching coach Karsten Whitson parted ways with USF baseball on Tuesday.

Following a challenging regular season, the Bulls (21-39, 7-17 AAC) made an unexpected run as the eighth seed in the tourney before dropping two games, 3-1 and 14-7, to the top-seeded Pirates (45-17, 18-6 AAC) on May 27 in the semifinals. 

His reasoning for departure is unknown at the time of publication. USF athletics has not made a formal announcement. 

Whitson announced his departure in a statement on his personal Twitter account on Tuesday evening.

Before USF, Whitson spent two years as an assistant coach at Pensacola State College, where he managed and developed the pitching staff. 

Whitson jumped to his first division one role with South Florida. He joined the program as a volunteer assistant in July 2019 and was promoted to a full-time assistant coaching position in July 2021. His primary role was serving as the Bulls’ pitching coach. 

In 2021, USF led the AAC in multiple pitching categories under Whitson. The team posted a  3.23 ERA and held their opponents to a .220 opponent batting average through 28 conference games. 

Its pitching staff helped South Florida win the AAC championship and make the NCAA Super Regional for the first time in program history.

Three Bulls pitchers were selected in the 2022 MLB Draft the following year. Orion Kerkering was selected by the Phillies in the fifth round, Jack Jasiak was drafted by Cleveland in the 12th round and Brad Lord went to Washington in the 18th round.

Since then, the pitching staff hasn’t been able to perform as consistently. Over the past two seasons, the Bulls recorded a 49-68 record. In 2022, the team posted a 5.68 ERA and allowed their opponents to hit .282. This past season, they recorded a 6.82 ERA with an opponent batting average of .292.