TAMPA, Fla. --- Oh Mother Nature-she is so funny! The plan was set, all the pageantry of opening day, the excitement in the air the only thing that the University of South Florida baseball team needed was an opponent. Oh that old Mother Nature dumped a lot of snow on the ground north of state of Florida including in the state of Maryland halting in traveling and forcing folks to altered their plans including the baseball team from the University of Maryland Eastern Shores. The Hawks were snowed in and could not leave Maryland so Bulls’ baseball coach Lelo Pardo went to plan B. He made a phone call and then he called the bus company, made arrangements for lodging and just like that the Bulls were on the road to the city of Jacksonville, Florida and played at the University of North Florida’s Best Bet Tournament Feb 14-16, 2014. The Bulls started the baseball season by winning three games in the tournament, defeating Liberty University, the University of Richmond and the Osprey. Pardo could no have asked for a better start from his club, the offense up by scoring 25 runs in three games and that the pitching staff also came along for the ride only limiting the opposition to six runs. The Bulls collected 40 hits over the three days but only six were for extra bases and the Bulls pitchers limited the opponents to just 20 hits. Pardo might be concern that the Bulls left 31 runners on the bases. Pardo got a chance to play a lot of players during the weekend tournament. He was able to get 15 players into the line up and 10 players were seeing action for the first time. The Bulls were able to use 13 pitchers from their staff getting experience which according to Pardo is invaluable to have, he was able to get eight underclassmen out on the mound for the Bulls. The midweek game for the Bulls is against Florida Gulf Coast University Tuesday February 18,2014 and will be played at Swanson Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida and is schedule to start at 6:30 p.m. The Eagles started this season against the University of Rhode Island and taking three games to one against the Rams. Eagles’ Jake Noll finished the series 6-of-15 at the plate and team mate Michael Such helped the offense for the Eagles getting six hits in 13 plate appearance. Florida Gulf Coast University baseball coach Dave Tollett will give the ball to Garrett Anderson to start the game against the Bulls-it will be his first start at Florida Gulf Coast University. Pardo is hoping that Mother Nature does not have any more surprises lined up for Bulls because we all know it is not nice to fool with Mother Nature!
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.