Bulls facing top-seeded Louisville in Clearwater
Much of the attention will be in Tampa on USF softball's Super Regional tonight, but USF baseball will be playing to keep its season alive in Clearwater, facing top seed Louisville in an elimination game in the Big East tournament.
The Bulls beat Pittsburgh 12-5 on Thursday night to stay alive in the losers' bracket, and Louisville was knocked off by Connecticut on Friday morning, sending them into a more difficult path to Sunday's championship game. The USF-Louisville winner will have to beat the Huskies twice on Saturday to reach the final.
Curiously, Louisville coach Dan McDonnell said he's starting freshman right-hander Jared Ruxer (8-1, 2.61 ERA) against the Bulls -- curious, only because Ruxer took his only loss of the season against USF in Tampa last month. McDonnell chose Ruxer over another rested righty, Jeff Thompson, who held USF to one unearned run and two hits in six innings in Louisville's 12-1 win in Tampa.
First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Clearwater, though it could get bumped a bit if the 3 p.m. game between Seton Hall and Notre Dame runs long. We'll have correspondent Ian Lanphier tonight, so we'll have updates from both sides of the bay.