Former Land O'Lakes standout Jeff Baisley has hit the ground running at South Florida, starting every game for the Bulls at third base and leading the team with 32 hits and 22 RBIs after Tuesday's 12-7 win against Vermont.
"He's played outstanding baseball, both offensively and defensively," coach Eddie Cardieri said.
Baisley went 3-for-6 Tuesday with four RBIs and three runs, his third consecutive three-hi game, continuing a breakout start for the freshman.
"He's been very consistent," said Cardieri, who also has Baisley's twin brother, Brian, on the roster, redshirting this season as a backup catcher. "I knew he could be a real good college player, but you never know how soon that's going to happen. The way he's adjusted to the speed of the game, it's been very nice to see."
Baisley has shown Cardieri all the right intangibles. One important one is plate discipline. He's struck out just 11 times in 88 at-bats and drawn eight walks.
T.J. UPDATE: River Ridge alum T.J. Tucker is having a strong spring with the Montreal Expos, carrying a 2.19 ERA in five appearances. In his first spring start Wednesday, Tucker gave up six hits and two runs in three innings against the Marlins. The Expos shipped 10 players to their minor-league complex Thursday, but the 23-year-old wasn't one of them. He's struck out 11 and walked none, challenging for the last spot in the Montreal rotation.
THERE THEY ARE: Dean Cavall, an all-conference selection at Pasco in 1999, had hits in each of his first three games as a sophomore at Dakota State in Madison, S.D. Cavall redshirted last year at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina before following coach Pat Dolan to Madison. David Gariepy, who played at Ridgewood and Pasco-Hernando Community College, is a junior outfielder at Lynn University. Gariepy's .302 average is fifth on the team, and he's also hit six doubles and four homers. Another PHCC graduate, former River Ridge pitcher Joel Sayre, is 2-1 with a 1.47 ERA at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Ga.
_ GREG AUMAN