Junior LHP Parker gets opening-day nod for Bulls
USF baseball coach Lelo Prado has announced his pitching rotation for this weekend's three games in the Big Ten-Big East Challenge, and junior left-hander Kyle Parker will get the ball in Friday's opener against Ohio State in St. Petersburg.
Parker, a Newsome graduate, will be going for his first career win, having an 0-3 record in 14 appearances (including five starts) in his first two seasons. Prado said he'll turn to newcomer Joe Lovecchio, a junior righthander who started his college career at Miami, on Saturday against Michigan State in Clearwater, with the Bulls' likely ace, senior lefty Andrew Barbosa getting the nod on Sunday against Minnesota in St. Pete.
Prado has been pleased with the recovery of three key pitchers who missed nearly all or all of 2011 with injuries -- Barbosa, starter Derrick Stultz and likely closer Ray Delphey. All are available this weekend but will be limited initially so as not to risk any additional injuries.
USF has also released its 2012 roster, with 15 newcomers among 34 players listed -- competition was strong enough that a handful of players didn't make the roster and will likely redshirt, including 6-7 lefty Joe Adel of Gainesville and 6-6 Max Rowe, from Plant. One intriguing player who did make the cut was 6-6 freshman Diego Rapalino of Colombia. We'll be at Friday's game and will offer up notes on the first look at the 2012 Bulls.
USF's games in St. Petersburg this weekend are at the Walter Fuller Complex, while the Clearwater game is at Jack Russell Stadium, the old Phillies' spring training home.