Baseball: Bulls beat W. Va. again to extend lead
USF baseball continues to dominate in Big East play, getting 18 hits Saturday in an 11-2 win against West Virginia that improves their league record to 14-3 and extends their lead to two games.
The Bulls (26-15) are 8-0 at home in conference play, and there's a good chance for a sweep on Sunday afternoon, as USF has used its bullpen for just one inning in the series -- Friday starter Randy Fontanez threw a complete game, and Saturday's winner, Derrick Stultz, lasted eight innings. West Virginia, by comparison, has already used five relievers in its two losses.
Seven USF starters had multi-hit games Saturday, including three hits each from Todd Brazeal, Sam Mende and Junior Carlin. The bottom three hitters in the Bulls' lineup -- Mende, Carlin, and Peter Brotons -- went a combined 8-for-11 with three RBIs.
How strong is a 14-3 start in league play? There's still 10 conference games to played, and against tough competition, but it all but certainly will be USF's best conference record in a decade. The Bulls have lost at least 11 conference games in each of the last 10 seasons, and the current mark should be the best since a 20-4 record in Conference USA in 1996.
-- Men's basketball assistant head coach Dan Hipsher talked for the first time Saturday night about leaving Stan Heath's staff to become an assistant under Anthony Grant at Alabama.
"Stan Heath has been phenomenal to me, my wife and my family. I was working at a great place," Hipsher said. "To leave that, it would have taken an opportunity like something this special. (Grant) is a guy I've known since he was 17, who I recruited to college, who worked for me at Stetson."
Hipsher said it wasn't easy to leave Tampa and the program he's helped Heath build at USF, but said the connection between himself and Grant has been a strong bond.
"I told our players, maybe when I'm 85 or 90 years old, one of you will ask me to sit at the end of your bench," Hipsher said.
-- We mentioned Friday that the Houston Chronicle had listed USF executive associate athletic director Bill McGillis as a potential candidate for the athletic director vacancy at Houston. McGillis worked at Houston from 1984-97 and has USF ties to two top Houston administrators, but said Saturday that he won't be pursuing the position and is staying with the Bulls.
"I have no interest in the Houston job and have no plans to leave USF," McGillis said via e-mail. "There is way too much fun in front of us here. This place is great."