The Bulls, 19-22 (4-8 in the AAC, 15-11 at home), continue their homestand as they host Central Florida for a 3-game series (Friday and Saturday at 6:30 PM and Sunday at noon). Central Florida enters the weekend at 21-22 (5-7 in the AAC) and hold a 2-1 record on the year against USF.
The Bulls have a team batting average of .246 entering the weekend and a staff ERA of 3.78 (opponents batting .243 against them). Central Florida is batting .253 as a team and has a staff ERA of 4.22 (batting .253 against them).
C. Florida is led at the plate by junior infielder Kam Gellinger who is batting .300 with 15 doubles, 2 home runs, 21 RBIs and has scored 20 runs on the season. He went 5 for 9 with 2 RBIs and scored a run in the first 3 games against USF. Junior infielder Ryan Crile is batting .299 with 8 doubles, 3 home runs, has 20 RBIs, has scored 26 runs and is 11 for 16 in steal attempts. He was 2 for 11 with an RBI, 2 strike outs, and a walk in the first 3 games between the two sides. Rounding out their top hitters is junior infielder Austin Griffin who is batting .248 with 8 home runs (leads the team), 36 RBIs (leads the team), and has scored 25 runs on the year. He is a combined 2 for 10 with 2 walks, 4 strike outs and has scored 1 run through the first 3 games. The USF staff will have to slow them down and try to get the game to Tommy Eveld who has 8 saves on the year (1.49 ERA) and has struck out 43 batters in 36.1 innings of work on the season. He threw in two games in the first series, going 2.1 innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 run and striking out 2 batters. He along with the starters will be facing a tough task over the weekend.
On the mound, C. Florida is led by junior RHP Robby Howell who is 7-1 (1.54 ERA) and has thrown 70 innings, allowing 49 his, 16 runs, 19 walks and has struck out 48 batters. He went 7 innings, allowing 1 hit, 3 walks and struck out 7 in his start last time against USF. Sophomore RHP Cre Finrock is 3-4 (3.84 ERA) and has thrown 61 innings, allowing 52 hits, 29 runs, 18 walks and has struck out 61 batters. He went just 2.1 innings in his first start against the Bulls, allowing 8 hits, 6 runs, 1 walk and struck out 2 (hope he has similar results this time again). Closing out games is redshirt senior LHP Harrison Hukari who is 1-2 in 26 games with 3 saves and has thrown 37.2 innings, allowing 32 hits, 16 runs, 29 walks and has struck out 34 batters on the year. He went 6.2 innings in relief of Finrock’s game in the first meeting, allowing 2 hits, 3 walks and struck out 7 batters (can go extended innings if needed). The USF offense will need to strike early and often. Luke Maglich was 3 for 11 with 2 runs scored and 3 walks drawn in the first three games combined. He along with others like Tyler Dietrich, who was 4 for 13 with an RBI and a run scored, will all need to heat up to help the offense get on the board against C. Florida.