Weather clearing up; Quevedo to start for USF
11 a.m. update: The weather is considerably better here, after an hour rain delay this morning and more rain that Louisville and Notre Dame played through in the first hour of their game.
But it's stopped raining now, the skies are clearing nicely, and there's not too much on the radar, suggesting the Bulls and Connecticut should be able to play close to their scheduled start time of 1 p.m. --- that game will be broadcast on ESPNU, and we'll be blogging live from here as well.
USF is going with junior right-hander Matt Quevedo, who will make just his fourth start of the season. He's 5-2 with a 4.47 ERA, though he opened the year 5-0 ... the relevant info here is that he pitched well against Connecticut in late March, lasting six innings and giving up two runs, one earned (albeit on eight hits) in a 5-2 USF win. The Huskies' starter that day, Greg Nappo, will pitch today as well.
Quevedo hasn't been as sharp in the past month, with a 10.66 ERA in his last four appearances -- he's pitched less than an inning in Big East play in the last seven weeks.
USF's Garrett Walvoord picked up that this is actually a rematch of the 2007 Big East tournament opener, which UConn won 3-0. Nappo threw a three-hit shutout in that game, while Quevedo took a shutout into the seventh in a solid outing.
It's a game that shows how much turnover Lelo Prado's had in the past two years -- the only current Bulls who played in that game are outfielder Mike Consolmagno, Quevedo and pitcher Shawn Sanford. They're the only three remaining Bulls from Prado's first season at USF -- lots of transfers and first- and second-year players on this team ...
9 a.m.: Greetings from Bright House Field in Clearwater, where it's raining.
My MVP for this week's Big East baseball tournament? The tarp. It's made more appearances than the leadoff guy for the best team in the tournament. Driving over from Wesley Chapel this morning -- my sixth trip in five days -- there's no rain for the first 50 minutes, not even a real boding cloud presence until I'm across the bridge, and once I'm within a mile of the stadium, it's raining. Of course it's raining.
Song they had playing on the PA when I came in this morning? Prince's "Purple Rain." Great stuff. The cool number just announced in the press box: The tarp has been pulled 19 times since Tuesday. NINETEEN!!!!
So the news is that Louisville and Notre Dame got in the national anthem this morning at 9 a.m., then had to stop for lightning and rain. So it's safe to say USF and Connecticut won't be playing right at 1 p.m. ... the hour-by-hour forecast at weather.com has lightning on the little graphic every hour but two in the next eight hours.
Exciting, encouraging update: First pitch for Louisville-Notre Dame is set for 10:05 ... tarp is on the way off, rain has stopped for now ...