Barbosa, Rockhold spark Bulls' win vs. 'Nova
USF baseball remains unbeatable in Big East games at Red McEwen Field, improving to 8-0 with 22 wins in their last 23 conference home games after a 7-2 win against Villanova on Saturday.
The Bulls (19-20, 10-4) got another strong start from lefty Andrew Barbosa, who improved to 5-2, striking out 10 and holding the Wildcats to two runs in seven innings. At the plate, sophomore Daniel Rockhold stole home and drove in three runs while batting cleanup in the Bulls' lineup. In all, USF had 13 hits, including three each from Todd Brazeal and Luis Llerena.
USF is fourth in the Big East standings, two and a half games back of first-place Connecticut. The Bulls go for their third home sweep in the third game of the series, with senior Teddy Kaufman getting the start in a noon start. USF has two tough midweek games this week, hosting Florida Gulf Coast (25-13) and then playing Wednesday at Miami (29-10).
The Bulls have another home series next weekend against Seton Hall (3-11 in Big East), then finish the year with two of their last three series on the road -- all three series are against other teams in the top five in the Big East standings.
-- USF softball continues to struggle to score runs, losing two games Saturday to DePaul by a combined score of 13-2 and getting outhit 23-6. The Bulls (21-23, 6-7) have now passed last year's total for losses and with 11 games left, are at risk of having just the third losing record in the program's 26-year history. There is help on the way -- incoming freshman Kourtney Salvarola has been named a top-five national recruit by ESPNU and high school sophomore Erica Nunn of North Carolina.
-- Who won our NFL draft picks contest? Yes, it's JupiterBull, the same guy who thought up the idea. Congrats to Jupiter, who missed the six picks by a total of 136 spots -- congrats also to Jack Wise (160) and yes, Turd Ferguson (172) as the only others with less than 200 points. Carlton Mitchell's drop caused the most problems -- all but one of you (BUSF) was off by at least 55 spots in guessing his position.
-- Lots of good draft links ... Cool video of safety Nate Allen's introductory press conference with the Eagles at Philadelphiaeagles.com. ... Here's a transcript of receiver Carlton Mitchell's interview with the Cleveland media from the Browns' official site. ... New York Post has a fun Q&A with Jason Pierre-Paul. He explains that he didn't do back-flips in the house because "the ceiling was too low." ... Wish I'd done more reporting on Pierre-Paul's childhood in south Florida, as the New York Daily News has a great feature on just that. ... The New York media has also found the JPP back-from-the-hospital-and-got-some-sacks story. ... Again, not everybody likes Pierre-Paul. The Sporting News' Matt Hayes calls the Giants' choice "mind-boggling." ... George Selvie didn't return calls after the draft, but he did do a conference call with Rams media. "People say you might have (gone) higher," he said. "Well, woulda coulda shoulda, it doesn’t matter now. I’m in this position, I’m a St. Louis Ram, and I’m happy where I’m at."