|Hatters to Complete Nine-Game Road Trip at USF|
The Stetson Hatters will look to close their longest stretch of road games of the 2012 season on a high note on Tuesday night when they travel to Tampa to take on the South Florida Bulls.
The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start from the USF Baseball Stadium and will be televised across the Sunshine State on the Brighthouse Sports Network with Jim Louk and Mike Lavalliere in the broadcast booth to call the action.
The Hatters and Bulls have faced each other during every season since South Florida started its baseball program in 1966. In the 154 games between the teams over 45 previous year, Stetson owns a 78-76 series lead.
Not only is the series close in terms of victories for each team, but is has also been extremely close in terms of the runs scored by each side. South Florida holds a slight edge in total runs scored, leading 926-902.
This season’s first meeting – the teams are scheduled to play again next Tuesday night in DeLand – will feature Hatters’ freshman right-hander Josh Powers (1-1, 3.86) against USF senior left-hander Matt Reed (3-2, 1.89).
Powers is looking to bounce back from his last two outings, during which he allowed six earned runs in just six innings of work against Florida State and Harvard.
The Hatters come into the game off what was perhaps their most complete performance since a 14-1 victory over Penn on March 2. In an 8-1 win over Mercer on Sunday the Hatters got strong pitching, flawless defense and timely hitting.
During the series at Mercer a pair of seniors led the offense. Both second baseman Robert Crews and third baseman Ben Carhart hit .500 for the series. Carhart leads the Hatters with a .327 average this year while also driving in a team leading 19 runs. Another senior, centerfielder Spencer Theisen, comes into the game at USF with a team-leading six-game hit streak.
The Bulls will give the ball to one of their most experienced hurlers to face the Hatters. Reed, a native of Albermarle, NC, will be making his 22nd career start for South Florida. He has an 11-7 career record with a 3.93 career ERA.
Reed’s last outing came in a 7-2 victory over Georgetown during which he allowed one earned run on five hits over six innings of work. Although not overpowering – Reed has just 10 strikeouts in 33.1 innings this year – the senior has been very effective in four of his five starts this year.
While Stetson is ending a stretch of road games, the Bulls are set to begin a long road stretch. USF has won six of its last seven and will embark on an eight-game road stretch that will include three games in Cincinnati this weekend before visiting DeLand next Tuesday.
The Bulls will then go to Pittsburgh for three games before closing the road stretch with a game on April 17 at Bethune-Cookman.
Stetson coach Pete Dunn will be looking to edge closer to the .500 mark in his career against South Florida. The Hatters are 60-63 all-time under Dunn against USF. Dunn also trails current USF coach Lelo Prado in their head-to-head career meetings 8-5, a record than includes a series win for Prado in 1999 when he was the head coach at Louisville.
The Hatters will finally return to Melching Field on Thursday night to open a three-game series against Jacksonville in Atlantic Sun Conference play. The series with the Dolphins will include 6:30 p.m. start times on Thursday and Friday evening with a 2 p.m. series finale scheduled for Saturday.