The BaseBulls are staring at the face of elimination today after losing 9-1 to UConn last night.
Typical closer Tommy Eveld got the start for USF and had some struggles in the unfamiliar role. In the second inning, a single by UConn LF John Toppa, followed by a stolen base and two wild pitches by Eveld, got UConn on the board. In the bottom half of the inning, C Joe Genord hit a HR to left-center field to knot things up at 1-1.
It would stay that way until the fifth inning. Eveld walked 1B Bobby Melley on four straight pitches, then allowed a double by AAC Player of the Year Joe DeRoche-Duffin. USF's trainer then came out to look at Eveld. Coach Mark Kingston decided not to risk anything and pulled Eveld from the game. (Kingston said after the game that Eveld just had some shoulder stiffness and they wanted to be cautious with him.)
Eveld pitched four-plus innings and allowed six hits, three earned runs, five walks, and three strikeouts on 82 pitches (46 strikes).
"He wasn't quite as sharp as we hoped, but he kept us in the game," Kingston said.
RHP Joe Cavallaro came on in relief and gave up a two-run double to the first batter he faced, closing the book on Eveld. The Huskies added another run in the fifth, then sealed the win with three runs in the sixth and one each in the eighth and ninth innings.
UConn's starter freshman LHP Tim Cate pitched 7 1/3 innings and struck out nine while only allowing one run.
"He's an elite guy. There's no question," Kingston said. "He's every bit as good as their Friday guy [Anthony Kay], who may be a first rounder. Gotta tip your cap, he was really good. He was just too much for us tonight."
The Bulls face Memphis in an elimination game at 3:00 today. The Tigers beat USF twice in the regular season and the Bulls will need to throw the kitchen sink at them to keep their season alive. The winner will face UConn tomorrow and will have to beat them twice Saturday to move on to Sunday's championship game.
Neither team had announced their starting pitcher at the time of posting.