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Basebulls Three Wins From NCAAs

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The Bulls are used to facing tough teams from the northeast.
The Bulls are used to facing tough teams from the northeast.

The USF baseball team survived an opening-game loss in the Big East tournament, and are now three wins away from what would be their first NCAA Regionals appearance since 2002.

The Bulls will face UConn at 1 PM today. The Bulls need to win that game, then beat UConn again at 6:30 or 8 PM. If USF can sweep, they would face St. John's or Notre Dame in a single game on Sunday for the tournament championship and automatic NCAA Tournament invitation. (UPDATE: St. John's eliminated Notre Dame in the early game, so the potential second USF-UConn game will be at 6:30.)

USF lost the tournament opener to Connecticut 7-2, when the Huskies broke open a close game with a three-run eighth innning. From the losers' bracket, the Bulls then blew out Pittsburgh 12-5, and upset top seed Louisville 6-2 behind a strong outing from Matt Reed.

The Bulls have an edge in that their Saturday starter Derrick Stultz should be available at some point in the tournament. Stultz was strategically pulled after 2 innings against Pittsburgh, when the Bulls broke out a 9-0 lead in a rain-threatened game. (UPDATE: Stultz started the 1 PM game against UConn.)

With an RPI around 80, an at-large bid is not an option. So the Bulls need to win the Big East's automatic bid to have any post-season hopes. In fact, only St. John's and Louisville have any at-large hopes out of the Big East.

BigEastBaseball.com is your one-stop shop for tournament information, including live video feeds, complete stats/recaps/highlights, and Seton Hall's awesome 1980s Houston Astro uniforms. The tournament is in Clearwater, so get down there and root on the Bulls if you can. But bring something so you can follow the Hofstra game too.