TAMPA, Fla. --- Uncle Mel needs to borrow a saying from his Irish heritage, “Saints be praised!” and to assure all of my nieces and nephews that the road of recovery is heading toward the finish line. To borrow another line, this time from former President Franklyn D. Roosevelt and to change it up just a little, “December 8, 2015 will be a day that will live on infamy.” Your old uncle found out that his bones are not as young as they used to be, a simple act of jumping out of a doorway of a camper trailer and landing on to the ground which resulted a trip to the hospital and what the emergency doctor described as a tabular plateau fracture. Oh by the way, that surgery would be necessary not one but there would be two operations on the broken right tabular plateau. The healing process for this type of injury took time like the Michigan State University men’s basketball team’s defense in the NCAA basketball tournament which is still searching for the excuse about why they were embarrassed by Middle Tennessee State University. Still the process of bones knitting back together continued through out the University of South Florida baseball season and like the Bulls out there on the diamond the process was painful but the results would be appreciated by all who was concern. It is a painful and slow recovery time for the leg and for the Bulls’ bats and pitching have made the 2016 campaign a struggle for University of South Florida baseball coach Mark Kingston and his team. After 51 games, the Bulls’ batters are hitting with a team average of .250 which is sixth in the American Athletic Conference. East Carolina University leads the conference with a team batting average of .287 but the good news is that the Bulls just finished a three-game series against the Pirates and won the series 2-1. Kingston’s pitching staff is also sixth in the AAC with a team ERA of 4.20 that is a little high for Kingston but what is keeping Kingston up during the night is the pain of watching his pitchers give up a league leading 233 base-on-balls which only adds to the confusion because the Bulls also lead the conferences with 475 strikeouts. Kingston does have room for hope and success out on the mound with two juniors that have made their presence count out on the mound. Brandon Lawson and Phoenix Sanders have each appeared in 13 games for the Bulls and have been a challenge for the opposition. Lawson leads the conference with 97 strikeouts and Sanders is fourth in the AAC with 85 strikeouts this season. Sanders has been honored by being named the AAC Pitcher of the Week twice during the season. There are just four more games remaining on the 2016 season before the American Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament being played at Brighthouse Stadium in Clearwater, Florida and all four of the remaining games are at home for the Bulls. Tuesday night May 17, 2016 there will be a no conference game against Jacksonville State starting at 6:30 p.m. and then the Bulls will close out the regular season with a three-game series against the University of Connecticut starting May 19 Thursday night at the USF Baseball Stadium starting at 6:30 p.m. A series win against the Huskies, is actually what would be ordered by the doctor and that prescription would help the all of the USF baseball fans and Kingston feel better.
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.