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Bulls Host No. 25 Michigan State This Weekend


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Bulls Host No. 25 Michigan State This Weekend

March 17, 2016
By  USF
 
Date: Friday-Sunday, March 18-20, 2016
Time: 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m. on Sunday
Location: Tampa, Fla. | USF Baseball Stadium (3,211)
Radio: 820 AM on Friday and Sunday; 1040 AM on Saturday
Video: GoUSFBulls.com (Saturday only)
Follow: Listen | Live Stats
Social: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

 

TAMPA, MARCH 17, 2016 – The University of South Florida baseball team (10-8) returns home to host Michigan State, ranked No. 25 according to Baseball America, this weekend at USF Baseball Stadium.

The Bulls split their midweek contests with a 3-2 victory at Stetson on Tuesday before a 7-6 setback at North Florida on Wednesday. The loss at UNF snapped a season-high four game winning streak for USF.

Pitcher Tommy Eveld (Tampa, Fla.) was named to The American weekly honor roll on Monday. Eveld had one of the most remarkable relief appearances this college baseball season when he took the mound against Holy Cross on March 11. The right-hander tossed 7.0 scoreless innings (a career high) in the team’s 3-2, 15-inning win over the Crusaders. Eveld threw for the Bulls from the eighth inning through the 14th, allowing just two hits and two walks. He also did not yield a single run against the 25 batters he faced. The redshirt-junior struck out a career-best nine batters in the contest. After allowing back-to-back baserunners to reach in the ninth, Eveld retired the last 18 consecutive batters he faced. Eveld single-handedly kept USF in the game long enough to win the contest on a 15th inning sacrifice fly from first baseman Duke Stunkel Jr. (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.).

Michigan State (13-1) has won seven straight games this season but the Spartans have not played any games since Sunday. MSU was an undefeated 5-0 during the Snowbird Classic last weekend, defeating Illinois State, Florida Gulf Coast, Butler, Saint Joseph’s and North Dakota State. Jordan Zimmerman leads the team with a .411 batting average this spring. Andrew Gonzalez boasts a lowly 1.59 earned run average. Michigan State has a cumulative .347 batting average with a 2.16 ERA.

 

PITCHING PROBABLES

FRIDAY: USF RHP Phoenix Sanders (1-0, 1.12 ERA) vs. MSU RHP Cam Vieaux Finan (2-1, 1.61)

SATURDAY: USF RHP Brandon Lawson (2-0, 3.28) vs. MSU RHP Ethan Landon (1-0, 2.49)

SUNDAY: USF RHP Joe Cavallaro (2-0, 2.67) vs. MSU RHP Walter Borkovich (3-0, 2.22)

 

SERIES INFORMATION

The Bulls lead the all-time series with the Spartans, 6-1. USF first met the Spartans in 1991 when the Bulls swept a three-game weekend series. The teams then split a pair of decisions in 2007 only to see USF claim the last meeting, a 2-1 win in 2012.

TEAM TIDBITS

·         The Bulls pitching staff is third in the nation with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings. USF also ranked 17th in stolen bases with 31.

·         Outfielder Luke Maglich is second in the country with 14 stolen bases and ninth in stolen bases per game at 0.78. Outfielder Garrett Zech (Naples, Fla.) also is third in sacrifice bunts (seven).

·         Pitcher Brandon Lawson (Brooksville, Fla.) ranks fifth in the county in strikeouts (38) and 12th in strikeouts per nine innings (13.56). Pitcher Phoenix Sanders (Gainesville, Fla.) has totaled 35 strikeouts this season, ranking him 14th, and 17th in strikeouts per nine innings (13.13).

·         Pitcher Tommy Eveld is the third USF baseball player to be named to The American honor roll this season. He joins outfielder Luke Maglich who hit .600 during a four-game stretch (March 7). Infielder Kevin Merrell (Odessa, Fla.) was also selected to the American weekly honor roll (Feb. 22). The sophomore hit .462 in the opening weekend series win over Liberty.

·         The Bulls have played five consecutive games decided by one run.

·         Outfielder Chris Chatfield (Riverview, Fla.) set a new career best with two home runs and four RBIs at North Florida (March 16).

·         Pitcher Brad Labozzetta (Lakeland, Fla.) guided USF to its first midweek victory of the season at Stetson on March 15 with a season-high 6.0 innings of one-run baseball. He also struck out a career-high six batters as well.

·         Outfielder Cameron Montgomery (Windermere, Fla.) tallied a career-best three hits at Stetson (March 15). All of his hits have come in contests where Montgomery has started.

·         Luke Maglich has reached base safely in 12 straight game. First baseman Duke Stunkel Jr. (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) is on a team-high four-game hitting streak.

·         Catcher Levi Borders (Winter Haven, Fla.) and outfielder Luke Maglich were both named to the 2016 All-American Athletic Conference Preseason Team.

·         Outfielder Garrett Zech (Naples, Fla.) was named the preseason AAC Freshman of the Year, according to the staff at D1Baseball.com.

·         The Bulls boast a consensus top-10 national recruiting class from 2015, including outfielder Chris Chatfield, infielder Coco Montes (Miami, Fla.) catcher/infielder Joe Genord and Zech who were all named as top impact freshman in The American this season, according to D1Baseball.com.

·         The USF baseball team boasts 34 players this season, all of which are from the state of Florida. This is the first Bulls team since 2003 to be entirely composed of Florida residents.

·         The Bulls are proud to call the Bay Area their home and the majority of the baseball team hails from the surrounding area (within 30 minutes of the USF campus or Tampa Bay). Eight Bulls are from Hillsborough County (Garrett Bye, Chris Chatfield, Tommy Eveld, Andres Leal, Hayden Kelley, Daniel Portales, Dominiq Sicardo, Ryan Valdes), three are from Polk County (Levi Borders, Luke Borders, Brad Labozzetta), two reside in Pinellas County (Michael Clarkson, Donovan Pink) and Sarasota County (Joe Cavallaro, Luke Maglich), and one is from Pasco County (Kevin Merrell).

·         The Bulls have six players that call Tampa home (Tommy Eveld, Andres Leal, Hayden Kelley, Daniel Portales, Dominiq Sicardo, Ryan Valdes).

·         For the second consecutive season, the USF baseball team will be shaving their heads in partnership with the Vs. Cancer Foundation. In 2014, the Bulls befriended a young cancer patient by the name of Nick Wolf. The team met Nick through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, a non-for-profit group that aims to improve the quality of life for kids and their families battling pediatric brain tumors. The Bulls became such good friends with Nick that they named him an honorary team captain. Despite courageously beating cancer twice, Nick eventually succumbed to the disease in 2015. That season, the baseball team exceeded its goal and raised $16,320 for the Vs. Cancer Foundation and Tampa General Children’s Hospital. The coaches and staff also banded together and shaved their heads after a home game in 2015. The Bulls will be raising money again this season and will be shaving their heads once again after the Sunday, April 10 contest against Memphis.

 

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