USF beats Pitt, keeps Clearwater hopes alive
USF's baseball team, backs firmly against the wall, responded with a 7-2 upset of Pittsburgh on Friday night, keeping alive their hopes of extending their season into next week's Big East tournament in Clearwater.
The Bulls (12-14) ended a seven-game Big East losing streak and kept the Bulls in play for one of the final three spots available for next week's tournament. Should the Bulls beat Pittsburgh on Saturday, they could make the cut any number of ways -- if Notre Dame loses to Louisville (as it has the last two days), then USF's 13-14 record would trump Notre Dame at 12-14. If Cincinnati loses to first-place Connecticut (as it has the last two days) then USF's record against the five teams above them in the standings (7-8) would beat out Cincinnati's (4-11), the next tiebreaker since the two teams didn't play this season. And if Seton Hall loses to Georgetown -- less likely, since the Pirates have won the last two days -- then the Bulls would win based on winning the head-to-head series. If all three of those teams win, USF would be out, even with a win against Pittsburgh.
All those scenarios must start with USF beating Pittsburgh -- the Panthers are locked into the No. 3 seed in the tournament, win or lose, and knowing that, might rest their pitchers rather than use them four days before the tournament begins. The games will unfold simultaneously -- Seton Hall and Georgetown are at noon, but the remaining games all start at 1 p.m., including USF's final home game of the season.