Here we go, another Sports Corner. A USF player was shot over the weekend (stable condition), the Rays added a new catcher, and the USF baseball team won another weekend series.
On Sunday afternoon USF issued a report that senior defensive back Hassan Childs had been injured in an off-campus shooting incident. Childs is in stable condition at this time and the investigation is ongoing, per Joey Knight it appears to be road rage gone wrong. I wish Hassan a speedy recovery.
*Quick add to this story, it is being reported that Childs is being arrested for the event and is facing multiple charges. That’s not good at all.
The Bulls lost 5 to 0 on Friday night to Tulsa in the AAC opener, dropping their record to 20-16 (0-1). USF managed just 2 hits (Kassandra Moeller and Bethaney Keen accounted for them) while the struck out 12 times as team. The lone bright spot, Kristen Wyckoff did pinch run, her first action on the field in weeks. Kalen McGill (7-4) went 4.2 innings, allowing 5 hits, 5 runs, walking 2 and struck out 4 batters. Cheyenne Eggens pitched well, going 2.1 innings in scoreless relief.
On Saturday, USF fell 7 to 3, dropping their record to 20-17 (0-2) on the year as the pitching continues to struggle. Astin Donovan was 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored and Kassandra Moeller was 1 for 3 with a 2-run home run, but it was the pitching again that allowed the Hurricanes to come back, scoring the 7 runs in the 4th and 5th innings. Kalen McGill (7-5) went 3.2 innings, allowing 7 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk and struck out one batter. Hannah Parker went 1.2 innings, allowing 2 hits and struck out one batter.
On Sunday, the long weekend continued as the Bulls fell 5 to 0 and dropped their record to 20-18 (0-3). The offense managed just 2 hits in the game (Lauren Evans and Bethaney Keen each had one). Susan Wysocki (2-4) went 1.2 innings, allowing 3 hits, 2 runs and walked one batter. Cheyenne Eggens worked 2.2 innings in solid relief with 3 hits allowed and struck out 2 batters.
The Bulls return to action on Friday afternoon as they head to Uconn. First game in that series begins at 3 PM.
The Bulls won 11 to 1 on Friday night over FAMU, moving their record to 21-2 (remember, they won 24 games in 2016). A 7th inning explosion allowed the Bulls to run away with this game. Garrett Zech (leading off the game with Kevin Merrell out) went 1 for 2 with 2 runs scored and stole 2 bases. Luke Borders went 1 for 3 with 3 RBIs and scored 2 runs while Nick Cerelli (first start) went 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs and scored 2 runs. Phoenix Sanders (4-0) went 6 innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and struck out 8 batters as the bullpen again shut it down the stretch after him.
On Saturday night, the Bulls fell 3 to 2 in 11 innings, dropping USF to 21-3 on the year. USF had their chances, but could not get a run across late (Kevin Merrell was out for his second straight game). Luke Borders was 2 for 3 with an RBI, scored a run, and stole a base while Chris Chatfield went 1 for 3 and scored a run. Shane McClanahan (ND) went 7 innings, allowing 4 hits, 2 runs, walking 1 and struck out 10 batters in a very strong outing. Andrew Perez (2-1) went 2.1 innings, allowing 1 hit, 1 run, walking 2 and struck out 4. Perez threw well, but that lone run hurt late.
On Sunday, the Bulls busted out the offense and won 7 to 1. David Villar was 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs and scored a run in the game. Andres Leal went 3 for 4 with an RBI and scored 2 runs as the offense opened up after being held in check on Saturday night. Ryan Valdes (4-0) went 5 innings, allowing 7 hits, 1 run, walking 3 and struck out 6. Noah Yager and Mark Savarese combined for 4 scoreless innings in relief.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays, continuing their spring training games, added a new catcher to the mix, 28-year old Derek Norris on a one year deal on a base contract of $1.2 million (per Marc Topkin). Norris, who was with San Diego last year, struggled a bit at the plate with a .186 average, but did hit 14 home runs and drove in 42 runs. He is a decent bat and is known for his defensive abilities. Per the terms of the contract and Norris’s decision, he signed with Tampa to see more playing time compared to other offers he had. This means that the Rays will have to make a roster move to add him to the 40 man roster. It also means that either Luke Maile or Curt Casali won’t be on the opening 25-man roster to start the year (waiting for Wilson Ramos to eventually be ready)
The Magic won 115 to 87 on Friday night over the Detroit Pistons to run their record to 27-46 on the year (3-1 in their last 4 games, just a note). Orlando shot 51% from the floor and went 12 for 26 from 3-point range while holding the Pistons to just 2 for 22 (that is awesome). Elfrid Payton had another triple-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists (he’s heating up?). Nikola Vucevic had 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists while Terrance Ross had 18 points on 5 for 6 shooting from 3-point range. Jodie Meeks had 15 points and 2 rebounds off the bench to help them get another late win.