Live blog: Women's hoops vs. Pittsburgh
Lots going on in USF athletics tonight, with baseball facing Northwestern, women's hoops here in the Sun Dome trying to keep their Big East tournament hopes alive against Pittsburgh, and men's basketball seeking its first Big East road win at Rutgers.
Not sure what my favorite moment was from Friday's USF-Yankees baseball game, but I'll start with slew of people -- 40, I eventually learned -- watching outfielder Mike Consolmagno after flying down from his native Staten Island. I went out in the crowd late in the game, hoping to find the parents of Consolmagno or Eric Baumann, who launched a pinch-hit grand slam over the left-field wall.
Sure enough, I find a group of about 10 people wearing white T-shirts that said "Consolmagno" and his number, 4, on the back. I asked which one was his father, only to be pointed to another section on the third-base side with even more Consolmagno shirts. They were everywhere, kind of like the scene in "Thomas Crown Affair" where everybody in the museum seems to have a bowler hat and suitcase.
So I finally track down Tom Consolmagno, as proud a dad as you'd find in Yankees Stadium on Friday, having seen his son get USF's first hit of the game against the team he grew up loving. We're maybe a minute into talking when the section erupts with cheers you'd normally reserve for a grand slam. What happened? Consolmagno simply caught a pop fly, but he did it ... against the New York Yankees.
Maybe 10 minutes later, I'm in the same area when Consolmagno rips a foul ball that ricochets off a seat and into a man's hands -- he's thrilled to have caught a foul ball. Again, this guy's in a tiny minority in this section because he's not related to Consolmagno, and a minute later, one of Mike's cousins comes over and pleads for the ball so she'll have a souvenir. The whole family's cheering for the guy to do it, and when he relents and gives her the ball, all the Consolmagnos are going crazy, thanking the guy for a kind gesture.
Better still might have been in the locker room after the game, when shortstop Addison Maruszak is talking with a few reporters and TV crews in a semicircle around him in front of a locker. Maruszak -- who picked up some celebrity last week when Joba Chamberlain called him out at USF's preseason banquet, saying he wouldn't "sniff first base" -- is maybe 45 seconds into the interview when one of his teammates destroys him midsentence with the old paper-plate shaving-cream pie to the face.
Extremely well-executed, and I believe credit should go to pitcher Andrew Salgueiro. I mean, it's in his eyes, in his ears, up nostrils, just covering his face. And it's on camera, too -- Catch 47 should have it on tape, and I think the Oracle will get it online. Classic baseball clubhouse hijinxs. Consolmagno, nice guy that he is, gave him a shirtsleeve to wipe his eyes on, and Maruszak went back to the interview, vowing to get revenge before the season's over. Maruszak was able to reach base, albeit after getting hit by a pitch, and was able to score on Baumann's blast, but the pie in the face was fun all by itself.