CLEARWATER, Fla. — Everybody likes a surprise-right?
It was a surprise for the University of South Florida baseball team to be in the situation that the Bulls found themselves, Thursday night at Bright House Field against the University of Con-
necticut-a chance to really make some noise at the American Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament.
It turned ugly in a hurry for the Bulls and for University of South Florida baseball coach Mark Kingston. The Huskies batters scattered 17 hits, defeated the Bulls 9-1 and Huskies’ starting pitcher Tim Cate worked 7.1 innings and shut down the Bull’s offense.
“He is an elite guy,” Kingston said about Cate. “He is every bit good as there Friday guy who is a first rounder. He was too much for us”
USF could only get four hits against Cate, the only mistake came in the second inning when he caught too much of the plate and Bulls; catcher Joe Genord reached the seats for the sixth time this season.
Cate was named Rookie of the Year Pitcher just before the start of the American Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament.
“Cate did not look like a rookie,” University of Connecticut baseball coach Jim Penders said. “He looked like the veteran of the year. He was special.”
Penders said he could have done a better job at third but his game plan was to put pressure on the Bulls
“We put pressure from the get-go,” Penders said. “The first couple of innings we didn’t push anything across. We could have more but I did a poor job at third.”
The Huskies took advantage of getting the lead off hitter on base six times, Kingston said that University of South Florida starting pitcher Tommy Eveld was not as sharp as he thought but he battled and got out of trouble by making the right pitch at the right time.
Leading the offensive charge for the Huskies, Player of the Year Joe Deroche-Duffin, he went 4-of 6 including two doubles and scoring one run for the Huskies.
“He pitched out of trouble, I don’t think he was quite sharp as we hoped,” Kingston said. “He kept us in the game going in the fifth inning. It was a close game. Most of the time you if you can get a starter get you in the fifth, sixth ideally the seventh that all you can ask.”
Kingston had to take Eveld out of the game because of shoulder stiffness in the fifth inning after facing two batters.
Kingston is expecting his team to arrive out on the field, Friday afternoon against the University of Memphis.
“It is going to take some resilience and we are going to find out how much of that we have,” Kingston said. “I am hoping that our guys come out tomorrow and play really hard that is what we stress and that is what we expect.”
A victory against the University of Memphis Friday afternoon at Bright House Field would be a sweet surprise for everyone!
The game between the Bulls and the Tigers is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.
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.