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USF baseball loses second straight to FSU

TAMPA — Before Wednesday's game against Florida State, USF baseball coach Lelo Prado spoke to his players about the importance of not giving the Seminoles a shot at easy runs.

Hours later, the one mishap Prado and the Bulls sought to avoid might have cost them a shot at an upset.

Two batters into the first inning, FSU's Justin Gonzalez hit a routine fly to leftfield that was misplayed by USF's Luke Maglich for an error. From there, the 'Noles (10-1) seized momentum and strung together four hits, including an RBI double from Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, to take a four-run lead.

That was all FSU, ranked No. 2 by Baseball America, needed, spoiling a solid start by right-hander Jimmy Herget in a 4-1 win over USF to sweep the two-game series.

Herget (2-2), a former Jefferson High standout, gave up eight hits, struck out five and walked three in five innings for the Bulls.

"You've got to catch the ball," Prado said. "It's a shame that Herget's walking out of here with a loss. We had plenty of opportunities."

USF (9-4) got a run back in the bottom of the first when Buddy Putnam drove in Kyle Teaf with a single off FSU starter Kenny Burkhead.

From there, USF was silenced by the 'Noles bullpen, stranding eight as Bryant Holtman, Billy Strode, Gage Smith and Winston combined to toss eight shutout innings.

"I'm not satisfied, we lost two games," Prado said. "There's nothing to be happy about."

Four apply for USF AD

TAMPA — Former Bucs director of football operations Kevin MacConnell is among the initial four applicants for the athletic director job at USF.

The school released the names of the four applicants upon a public records request from the Tampa Bay Times. USF is seeking a replacement for Doug Woolard, who announced his retirement in January after nearly 10 years.

The four are not necessarily finalists. Whether they were vetted by the Texas-based search firm hired by USF is unknown. The firm, Eastman & Beaudine, conceivably could have had conversations with other prospects who have not formally applied.

Additionally, no new meeting of USF's search advisory committee has been scheduled, school spokesman Adam Freeman said Wednesday evening. The six-member committee met with Beaudine on campus last month, but no candidates were mentioned by name.

The other names released: Brad Edwards, Robert Clifford and John Ballein. No resumes were attached with the names provided, but Brad Edwards is the name of the current Jacksonville University athletic director. USF could not confirm whether it's the same person.

A former NFL free safety who won a Super Bowl ring with the 1991 Washington Redskins, JU's Edwards previously worked in the athletic department at South Carolina — his alma mater — and served as AD at Division II Newberry College.

Clifford has worked more than a decade at Oregon State, serving on the committee that hired football coach Mike Riley. Ballein has worked at Virginia Tech more than 26 years, serving as a graduate assistant on Frank Beamer's first Hokies team in 1987.

A Rutgers alumnus and former longtime official within the Scarlet Knights athletic department, MacConnell joined Greg Schiano's Bucs staff in February 2012, shortly after Schiano was hired from Rutgers. In more than a quarter-century, he served in a variety of administrative roles within the program.

UF staff salaries released

GAINESVILLE — Florida's new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper will earn a base salary of $590,000, while special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler will earn $230,000 and offensive line coach Mike Summers will be paid $190,000, according to contracts released by the University Athletic Association.

The assistant coaches' contracts also include a $10,000 Nike apparel deal bonus, standard for Gator coaches. They will receive compensation from camps and annuities and a leased vehicle among other benefits.

Roper, who is making the same base salary as ex-coordinator Brent Pease earned this past season, received a $100,000 incentive bonus, which he will collect each January through the end of his contract, beginning in 2016. Roper, who joined the staff in January after five seasons at Duke, said he chose to come to Florida because "I think it's a chance to come and compete for championships."

His contract runs through 2017, Summers' through 2016 and Hutzler's through 2015.

Times staff writers Joey Knight and Antonya English contributed to this report.

USF baseball loses second straight to FSU 03/05/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 10:53pm]

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