Final USF starts for Fontanez, Barbosa?
Junior pitchers Randy Fontanez and Andrew Barbosa came through with solid starts for USF on back-to-back nights in the Big East tournament, with Fontanez going into the ninth in a loss to St. John's and Barbosa pitching seven innings for a win Thursday against West Virginia.
But have they pitched their final games for the Bulls? Both are eligible for next month's MLB draft and have drawn their share of pro scouts this season -- Fontanez led the Big East with 105 strikeouts and Barbosa, a 6-foot-8 left-hander, led the league with a 2.40 ERA and was second with 95 strikeouts.
"Yeah," Barbosa said, asked if he had thought about the possibility he had pitched his last college game. "But I don't think about that. Whatever happens, happens. I'm trying to play baseball."
USF has lost one junior in each of the last three drafts, with pitcher Shawn Sanford last summer, shortstop Addison Maruszak in 2008 and second baseman Walter Diaz in 2007.
KAUFMAN RETURN?: Senior left-hander Teddy Kaufman hasn't pitched in more than a month due to an injured forearm, but Bulls coach Lelo Prado left open the possibility that he could step back in as USF's starter in Friday's elimination game against Louisville or St. John's.
"We're going to try a miracle shot on Kaufman," Prado said. "Everybody's fresh. Now it's just survival. Just whoever can get guys out, we put them in and go from there. Teddy's going to try it, so we'll see what happens."
If Kaufman can't go, the Bulls would likely turn to Jimmy Moran, who made three starts in conference play after Kaufman's injury, including a six-inning, one-run victory against Seton Hall.