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Big East: Bulls, UConn play at 3:45 p.m.

Greetings again from Bright House Field, where the rains that have muddied the Big East baseball tournament schedule were gone long enough to finish two games here in Clearwater.

USF and Connecticut are scheduled to play at 3:45 p.m., thanks to West Virginia finishing a 20-8 elimination of Pittsburgh in seven innings at 2:50.

It looks like the Big East will not try to squeeze a fifth game into today's schedule, so both the Bulls and Huskies are likely done for the day after their one game. The loser would play in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Friday, with the winner following in the semifinals, needing just one win in two games to advance to Saturday's championship.

The Bulls will send junior right-hander Shawn Sanford -- perhaps the most likely of USF's underclassmen to be drafted next month -- up against the Huskies. UConn answers with senior right-hander Matt McDonald (4-1, 4.53 ERA), who did not pitch in USF's three games against the Huskies this season.

McDonald was a midweek starter who did not pitch in Big East play until the final two series of the season, getting Sunday nods against Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. He gave up nine and eight hits in those starts, giving up six runs for a 4.63 ERA. So it's a matter of how quickly USF's hitters can figure him out -- the Huskies have seen a little of Sanford from a relief appear ance in the Bulls' win at UConn.

-- Matt Grothe shows up at No. 3 on blogger Brian Bennett's countdown of the top 30 players in the Big East. Really just depends on the criteria you're using, but I don't think there's another player whose presence means more to a team than Grothe has for USF. So is George Selvie or Cincy QB Tony Pike the choice for No. 1?

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 6:29pm]


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