USF baseball, 24-31, won 4 to 2 over ECU to move into the winners bracket of the AAC tournament. They will be facing off against Uconn at 7 PM over in Clearwater as the Bulls look to keep the season alive and continue to make noise in the tournament.
Uconn entered the tournament at 33-22 (14-9) and swept USF to end the regular season. They are batting .271 as a team and have a staff ERA of 3.56 (opponents are batting .238 against them). They beat Memphis 6 to 1 to advance into this game in the winners bracket.
Leading the batting order is sophomore infielder Willy Yahn who is batting .326 with 19 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs with 40 RBIs and has scored 42 runs. Senior first baseman Bobby Melkey is batting .297 with 15 doubles, with 9 home runs, 49 RBIs and has scored 46 runs on the year. Senior outfielder Jack Sundberg is batting .274 on the year with 8 doubles, 3 triples, has 5 home runs, with 26 RBIs, has scored 49 runs and is 17 for 23 in steal attempts. Rounding out their top hitters is senior infielder Joe DeRoche-Duffin who is batting .262 with 12 doubles, 17 home runs (leads the team), with 52 RBIs and has scored 42 runs on the year. Here are their numbers after sweeping the Bulls to end the regular season.
Yahn: 7 for 16, 6 RBIs, 1 run scored, 1 strike out
Melley: 6 for 11, 1 run scored, 3 RBIs, and walked twice
Sundberg: 5 for 11, 2 RBIs, 5 runs scored, 4 walks, 2 strike outs
DeRoche: 2 for 10, 3 RBIs (1 HR), 2 runs scored, 3 walks, 4 strike outs
A late inning arm to watch is junior RHP Patrick Ruotolo who is 2-1 entering the year (2.01 ERA) and has 9 saves in 21 games. He has thrown 31.1 innings, allowing 23 hits, 9 runs, 8 walks and has struck out 41 batters. He went 4.1 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks and struck out 8 batters in the two outings he had against USF. For the USF offense to have some success, they will need the top of the order with Kevin Merrell setting the table, to get on base and get things going for the rest of the order.
It will be an interesting game with the Bulls looking for another upset as they keep their season alive.