CLEARWATER — Seventh-seeded USF didn't necessarily need all the planets to align to make an improbable run in the American Athletic Conference baseball tournament. Just its pitching staff.
Things got out of alignment Thursday night at Bright House Field and No. 3 Connecticut pounced to win 9-1 in a winners' bracket game. The Bulls (24-32) face No. 6 Memphis at 3 today in an elimination game.
USF allowed 17 hits and seven walks, and let the leadoff batter reach base in six innings. By contrast, Huskies left-handed starter Tim Cate (71/3 innings, one run, four hits, nine strikeouts) mostly sparkled.
Normal Bulls closer Tommy Eveld, in his first start in more than a year as a result of coach Mark Kingston's staff shakeup, exited with apparent right arm discomfort after a walk and double to open the top of the fifth.
Joe Cavallaro followed, allowing a two-run double to Bryan Daniello on his third pitch to give UConn a 3-1 lead. The Huskies tacked on another run in the fifth, then three in the sixth.
Also, Houston beat Tulane 5-3 and Memphis topped East Carolina 5-4, eliminating the Pirates.
UF survives: Danny Reyes drove in the winning run with a double in the eighth, breaking a 4-4 tie, as Florida defeated Alabama 5-4 to stay alive in the SEC tournament in Hoover, Ala. The fourth-seeded Gators (45-12), ranked fifth in the writers' poll, face the winner of the late game between top-ranked Mississippi State and No. 6 LSU about 7 tonight in the double-elimination tourney. Late Wednesday the Gators stranded 12 runners in a 5-3, 14-inning loss to LSU.
FSU 2-0 in ACC tourney: Florida State defeated Georgia Tech 6-1 to improve to 2-0 in group play at the ACC tournament in Durham, N.C. John Sansone and Dylan Busby each had two-run homers for the Seminoles (36-19), seeded fourth and ranked 15th. Top seed Miami (45-10) scored three in the top of the ninth and beat North Carolina State 8-7. The Seminoles and Hurricanes have today off and meet at 3 p.m. Saturday in the final game of group play, with the winner going to Sunday's final.
Men's tennis: No. 2 overall seed Roberto Cid of USF beat Alabama's Mazen Osama 6-0, 6-3 to reach the round of 16 in the NCAA singles tournament in Tulsa, Okla., where he will be joined by teammate Dominic Cotrone, who topped South Carolina's Gabriel Friedrich 7-5, 6-3. Florida's Alfredo Perez lost to Wake Forest's Petros Chrysochos, and fellow Gator Elliott Orkin was eliminated by Virginia's Ryan Shane; FSU's Benjamin Lock was ousted by Ronnie Schneider of North Carolina. Cotrone earned All-America honors with his win, joining Cid.
Women's tennis: Virginia's Danielle Collins of St. Petersburg defeated North Carolina's Jessie Aney to reach the round of 16; Florida's Belinda Woolcock joined Collins after topping Alabama's Erin Routliffe. In doubles, UF's Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan reached the final 16.
USF-FSU football tickets: Tickets go on sale Monday for the Sept. 24 game between USF at Florida State at Raymond James Stadium. The public can buy single-game and group tickets from noon to 2 Monday at the USF Sun Dome box office, by calling toll-free 1-800-462-8557 or online via Ticketmaster.
Track and field: Florida's Marija Vucenovic led qualifying in the javelin at the NCAA East Region meet in Jacksonville.
Women's golf: Washington defeated Stanford 3-2 late Wednesday to win the NCAA championship in Eugene, Ore.
Basketball: Maryland guard Melo Trimble withdrew his name from the NBA draft and will return for his junior season.
Information from Times wires was used in this report. Contact Joey Knight at [email protected]. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.