The Bulls, 17-19 (3-6 in conference) 14-10 at home, are back in Tampa as they take on Bethune Cookman for a quick non-conference game. BCU is 16-21 on the year (2-11 away from home). They beat USF back on March 1st 10 to 3 (this game begins at 6:30 PM).
The Bulls enter the game batting .247 as a team and have a staff ERA of 3.71 (batting .237 against them on the year). BCU is batting .283 as a team and has a staff ERA of 5.68 (.313 average against their staff). This could be a high scoring game with both teams trying to get back to .500 late on the season.
BCU is led by redshirt junior catcher Clay Middleton who is batting .374 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, with 22 RBIs and has scored 17 runs on the season. He didn’t play in the first meeting. Senior infielder/outfielder Nathan Bond is batting .370 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 17 RBIs, and has scored 18 runs on the year. He was 1 for 4 with an RBI and scored 2 runs in the first meeting. Junior catcher Michael Cruz is batting .331 with 4 doubles, leads the team with 12 home runs, and has 27 RBIs while scoring 31 runs on the year. He was 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs and scored a run in the first meeting and its a big bat the Bulls have to be aware of.
The BCU staff has given up some runs throughout the year, so the USF offense needs to take advantage of it. One of key late inning arms is sophomore LHP Joseph Calamtia who has 2 saves in 19 games this year (2.95 ERA). He has thrown 21.1 innings, allowing 16 hits, 8 runs, 9 walks and has struck out 13 batters on the year. The starter from the last meeting is senior RHP German Hernandez who is 3-2 on the year (4.89 ERA) and has thrown 46 innings, allowing 55 hits, 30 runs, 14 walks, and has struck out 30 batters on the year. In the start against USF in the first game, he went 7 innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, and struck out 7 batters. If the Bulls want to win this game, the young offense has to figure him out and get an early lead to help out the pitching staff. The Bulls really need this game.