Sunday, November 19, 2017
Sports

USF baseball loses to St. John's in Big East tournament title game

RECOMMENDED READING


CLEARWATER — After running off four wins in the losers' bracket to reach its first Big East tournament championship game, the USF baseball team's hopes of a conference crown ended Sunday, as bullpen troubles cost the Bulls in a 7-3 loss to second-seeded St. John's at Bright House Field.

USF (38-22) led 3-2 in the sixth but with limited arms in the Bulls' sixth game in five days, St. John's (37-21) rallied to its second title in three years and a record seventh overall.

"We needed to score runs (Sunday), and I knew that was going to be a factor," USF coach Lelo Prado said. "(Friday) we had to use a lot of our big guns. … I don't want anybody to be happy with runnerup. I want to win Big East championships, and we want to get to Omaha (home of the College World Series) one day. It's a great lesson for these young men. They fought hard, and when you compete and play together, good things happen. That's what happened to us this week."

After winning just 25 games and missing the conference tournament entirely last year (only the top eight teams qualify), USF matched the program's best single-season improvement in 23 years this season.

Senior left-hander Andrew Barbosa, who also pitched Wednesday, lasted into the sixth and left with the lead. Despite the loss, he said this week was a great run for the seniors. "It's unbelievable. From the beginning of the season, we knew we had a great team," he said.

Pitcher Derrick Stultz and outfielders Jimmy Falla and James Ramsay made the all-tournament team, but USF couldn't get the trophy it wanted.

Entering with two on and a 3-2 lead in the sixth, reliever Andrew Loynaz hit the first two batters he faced, the latter with the bases loaded, then gave up a sacrifice fly for a 4-3 Red Storm lead. St. John's added two runs in the seventh.

USF is unlikely to command an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament of 64, with St. John's getting the automatic bid and co-regular-season champ Louisville expected to get in.

Still, Prado remained optimistic. "Thirty-eight wins, look around the country, there's not many teams with 38 wins," he said. "You're leaving it up to a committee, so hopefully we've done enough work."

FSU, UF, Miami host regions: The Seminoles (43-15), ranked No. 1 in Baseball America's last regular-season poll, will host one of the 16 NCAA regions for a 29th time. Florida (42-18) and Miami (36-21) will also host as play in the four-team regions begins Friday. The top eight national seeds will be announced today during the selection show at noon.

No. 8 seed wins ACC: Mott Hyde homered and Sam Dove had three of Georgia Tech's 15 hits as the Yellow Jackets (36-24) beat Miami 8-5 in Greensboro, N.C., to win the automatic NCAA berth and become the first No. 8 seed to win the ACC tournament. No. 6 seed Miami was selected as an NCAA host site, so the Hurricanes are in a regional.

SEC final: Ross Mitchell pitched five-plus scoreless innings and Mississippi State (39-22) claimed its seventh SEC tournament title with a 3-0 win over Vanderbilt in Hoover, Ala. The Bulldogs have won eight of their last nine and take the league's automatic bid.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Comments
Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

TAMPA — The firepower showed up in the third period.Yanni Gourde and Ondrej Palat scored 13 seconds apart. Gourde scored again.Suddenly it was a one-goal game, and the Lightning appeared on its way to one of those comeback wins that would be remember...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning journal: Jon Cooper thrilled with stellar start

Lightning journal: Jon Cooper thrilled with stellar start

TAMPA — If you told coach Jon Cooper his team would open the season with wins in 15 of the first 19 games, well, "I’m not sure I can sit here and say I would have predicted that," he said Saturday morning.But the Lightning did just that to lead the N...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosMonster Energy Cup: Ford EcoBoost 4003 p.m.NBCCFLSaskatchewan at Toronto1 p.m.ESPNewsEdmonton at Calgary4:30 p.m.ESPNewsCollege basketballMonmouth at Virginia1 p.m.FSFWomen: Maryland at Connecticut1:30 p.m.ESPNPuerto Rico Tip-Off, fifth pla...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Lightning-Islanders

Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Lightning-Islanders

This is what happens when you have the best record in the league: You get the best from the other team. The Islanders came out strong and the Lightning couldn’t match it, falling behind 4-0 early in the third. For the most part, the Lightning has bee...
Updated: 4 hours ago
No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

PHILADELPHIA — There were so many reasons for UCF coach Scott Frost to worry about his team’s focus. With a huge game against USF looming, playing an improving Temple team in a stadium where the empty seats outnumbered the filled ones by about a 3-1 ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

TAMPA — In the spring of 2010, one of the biggest debates during the week leading up to the NFL draft was which defensive tackle would be selected first: Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy.Both figured to be highly productive NFL pla...
Updated: 4 hours ago
No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

MIAMI — After Miami clinched the first Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division crown in program history, upset the then-No. 3 team in the country, claimed one of the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings and after many of the nat...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Early Lightning awards: Tough call on MVP

Early Lightning awards: Tough call on MVP

TAMPA — It’s still way early, but if the Lightning’s record start continues, there will be a lot of hardware up for grabs. And we’re not just talking about the Stanley Cup. Nikita Kucherov has league MVP written all over him. Andrei Vasilevskiy coul...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

TAMPA — Belief is the biggest attribute a quarterback can bring to his team. Belief in his talent. Belief in his commitment to winning. Belief in his ability to bring everyone together and have his voice lead the path forward.But the belief the Bucs ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Updated: 4 hours ago