Huskies, Cards battle for Big East top seed
Today is the final day of the regular season in Big East baseball, and with USF playing spoiler in the final games played at Pittsburgh's Trees Field, Connecticut and Louisville are both still alive for the conference's regular-season championship.
Connecticut (20-5 in Big East) needs only to beat Seton Hall at home today to clinch the top seed in the Big East tournament, which starts Wednesday at Bright House Field in Clearwater. Louisville (19-6) has the tiebreaker advantage over the Huskies, but needs a UConn loss and a strong doubleheader at Notre Dame to rally past the Huskies in the standings.
Much of the Big East field is now set -- Pittsburgh has the third seed and will open against sixth-seeded Rutgers; USF has the fifth seed and faces fourth-seeded St. John's. Cincinnati has clinched the seventh seed, with Notre Dame needing one win or a Villanova loss to clinch the final spot in the field. Villanova needs to upset West Virginia and have Notre Dame lose both games against Louisville to make it in.
Here's the writeup from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on how USF spoiled the farewell day at Trees Field, taking advantage of a short 280-foot wall in left field. It was a huge offensive games for the Bulls, with designated hitter Daniel Rockhold getting seven RBIs, catcher Andrew Longley getting a two-run home run in the ninth to tie the game and shortstop Sam Mende hitting a three-run shot in the 10th to win.
Just an update: The Big East's site lists Wednesday's 4th seed-5th seed game (St. John's-USF) as a 5 p.m. start, but the league is moving the host team to the 8 p.m. game, so the Bulls will be the last game of the day.