Weekend Baseball Series: USF (21-27, 6-12) at ECU (30-17-1, 11-6-1) Clark-LeClaire Stadium, Greenville, N.C.
When: Friday 5/13 (6:30 p.m.), Saturday 5/14 (4 p.m.), Sunday 5/15 (11 a.m.)
Where To Find It: 1040 AM (Friday and Saturday) 820 AM (Sunday)
Friday-USF RHP Phoenix Sanders (5-4, 3.30 ERA) vs. ECU LHP Evan Kruczynski (5-1, 1.40)
Saturday-USF RHP Brandon Lawson (4-4, 2.47) vs. ECU RHP Jimmy Boyd (6-3, 2.43)
Sunday-USF RHP Joe Cavallaro (4-3, 3.95) vs. ECU LHP Jacob Wolfe (6-3, 2.34)
Just win (one time please), baby...
The Bulls stumble into the weekend amidst a five-game losing streak and look to get something going before the conference tournament. They do not have an easy opponent this weekend as #21 ECU looks to continue its torrid play of late. Before dropping a game Tuesday vs UNC, the Pirates were coming off a weekend sweep of UConn, scoring 18 runs in the three games. By comparison, the Bulls have managed just 11 runs in during their five-game skid.
Everything on offense for the Bulls starts with second baseman Kevin Merrell and outfielder Luke Maglich, who are hitting .301 and .295 respectively. Merrell had three hits and a walk against #1 Florida on Tuesday and enters the weekend on an eight-game hit streak and a 14 game on-base streak (H/T gousfbulls.com).
On the pitching side, the Bulls have allowed 40 runs during the losing streak, including nine vs UCF, nine vs Tulane and 12 against UF. Starters Phoenix Sanders and Brandon Lawson look to get back on track after struggling last weekend vs Tulane. ECU sports six players hitting at least .290, led by freshman outfielder Dwanya Williams-Sutton (.359/.440/.570, 4 HR's) and senior outfielder Parker Lamm (.320/.371/.355, 10 SB's). The Pirates get on base often with a team OBP of .374.
ECU will use their three best pitchers this weekend who are all ace material. With two lefties going it will be interesting to see what Bulls manager Mark Kingston decides to do with the lineup. He may decide to put Garrett Zech in the two-hole to break up the all-lefty top of the order that the Bulls usually use, which means Duke Stunkel Jr. or Luke Borders would drop down a bit.
The bullpens of each team are led by two really good pitchers in Tommy Eveld (2.08 ERA, 8 SV) for USF and Joe Ingle (2.59 ERA, 11 SV). But after those closers, each bullpen is shaky to put it kindly. We've seen the Bulls bullpen blow some games recently, and it could matter if USF is to find a win this weekend, especially on Saturday or Sunday.