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Bulls baseball team picked 5th in American



USF's baseball team, which will try to fill some holes in its batting order and rotation with one of the most versatile signing classes of the Lelo Prado era, has been picked fifth in the American Athletic Conference preseason coaches' poll.

Right-hander Jimmy Herget, a Baseball America freshman All-American last season, and 2B Nik Alfonso made the preseason all-conference team.

Prado loses five of his top seven hitters from last season's 36-22 team, but returns two everyday starting pitchers including Herget. The eight players he signed in November "can play anywhere," he said.

"In this conference the preseason poll means nothing," Prado said. "Any team in this league can win it. ... If we do what we did the last two years we will get to a regional because of the strength of this conference."

A lanky Jefferson High alum (6-foot-3, 165 pounds), Herget finished 6-2 with a 1.72 ERA in 94 innings as a true freshman in 2013.

Alfonso, a middle infielder from Tampa Catholic, hit .331 and led the Bulls in on-base percentage (.420) as a redshirt freshman last year.

The entire preseason all-conference team can be found here. USF opens its season at home Feb. 14 against Maryland Eastern Shore.

Preseason American Athletic Coaches Association coaches poll:
1. Louisville
t-2. Houston
t-2. UCF
t-2. Connecticut
5. USF
6. Memphis
7. Rutgers
8. Cincinnati
9. Temple

[Last modified: Thursday, January 2, 2014 6:14pm]


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