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February 18, 2013
It was an up-and-down first weekend of play for the USF baseball team in the Big East-Big Ten Challenge. The Bulls went 1-2 with losses to No. 19 Louisville and Indiana, the lone win coming against Purdue. Although it is still very early to make any decisions about the team, we did learn quite a bit over the weekend. Here are five things we learned about the Bulls this weekend.
After the first weekend, it seems that Nick Gonzalez and Joey Lovecchio are set to be the Friday and Saturday starters for USF, but the Bulls' are still lacking a Sunday starter. Tallahassee Community College Transfer Nolan Thomas started for the Bulls on Sunday against Indiana and struggled, throwing 3.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits. The Bulls do have some guys that are still in the mix for that Sunday spot. Freshman Jimmy Herget looked sharp in relief on Saturday in relief, throwing four scoreless innings and surrendering just one hit against Purdue. Another contender for the Sunday job, transfer Lawrence Pardo threw 3.2 scoreless innings against No. 19 Louisville. Sophomore Michael Clarkson, who did not pitch over the weekend, is another name that has been linked to the Sunday starter role.
That's right, USF outfielder Chad Taylor is back and this year, you are going to see him do a lot more than just play centerfield. Over the weekend, Taylor played in all three of USF's games and played three different positions; centerfield, right field and relief pitcher. Taylor looked good in the outfield and at the plate, going 3-9 (.333) with three RBIs and three runs scored. The senior made his first appearance on the mound for USF on Sunday against Indiana and struggled, pitching 1.2 innings of relief and giving up four earned runs, three hits and walking three batters. Despite the rocky start, expect for Taylor to continue to get his opportunities on the mound, especially since the Bulls have no clear-cut guys in the back of the bullpen.
Nick Gryniewicz is the Managing Editor of Runningthebulls.com - he also serves as the student voice of the USF Bulls Football, Men's basketball and Baseball home games. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Nick on Twitter at @nickgryniewicz.