The Sports Corner: Rays .500 a week in

Image result for logan morrison rays

Logan Morrison is 6 for his first 13 to begin the year for the Rays.

In the latest Sports Corner, the Rays enter the weekend at 2-2 while USF baseball and softball prepare to get back to work. In the basketball world, USF men’s basketball completed its staff while the Orlando Magic prepare to wrap up another long year. 

USF men’s basketball

On Tuesday night it was reported that assistant Tom Herrion would be joining Coach Brian Gregory’s staff, joining Chad Dollar and Scott Wagers. Herrion was an assistant at TCU this past season (team won the NIT) and was an assistant under Gregory from 2014-2016 at Georgia Tech. The hiring was made official by USF during the week.

Now, please go out and start putting together a roster? Thanks!

USF baseball 

The Bulls, 24-5 (1-2), begin a 3-game series starting Friday night (6:30 PM first pitch) against Central Florida.

USF softball

The Bulls, 21-19 (1-4), host ECU for three games, with game one starting at 4 PM on Friday afternoon.

Tampa Bay Rays

On Tuesday night (off day on Monday), the Rays fell 5 to 0 to the Yankees, dropping their record to 1-1 to start the year (perfect season is over guys). Jake Odorizzi (0-1) went 6 innings, allowing 7 hits, 4 runs, walked 2, and struck out 4 (didn’t get any help from Peter Bourjos in left field either). Jumbo Diaz (1 inning, 1 K) and Tommy Hunter (1 inning, 1 walk), looked at least solid in relief. Evan Longoria was 1 for 2 with 2 walks and Steven Souza Jr. was 2 for 4, but that was about it for the offense in this game.

On Wednesday night the Rays got back in the win column, beating NY 4 to 1 to move to 2-1 and taking the opening series of the year. Corey Dickerson was 2 for 4 with a home run and drove in 2 runs total. Logan Morrison was 2 for 4 and scored a run while Derek Norris went 1 for 3 with 2 RBIs, scored a run, and even stole a base (that’s more steals than all of the Rays catchers accounted for last year). Alex Cobb (1-0) went 5.2 innings in his first start, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and struck out 4. Erasmo Ramirez worked 2 strong innings in relief while Alex Colome got save number 2 while striking out 2 batters to close it out.

On Thursday night, the Rays fell 5 to 2 to Toronto, dropping their record to 2-2 on the year. Blake Snell struggled (0-1) going 6.2 innings, allowing 4 hits, 5 runs, walking 5 and struck out 5 batters. Tommy Hunter was solid again going 1.1 innings, striking out 3 batters in his relief spot. Steven Souza was 3 for 4 while Logan Morrison was 1 for 4 with an RBI. Corey Dickerson went 2 for 4 as well. Blake Snell struggled (0-1) going 6.2 innings, allowing 4 hits, 5 runs, walked 5 and struck out 5. His command was way off as he just could not command the fastball and the Blue Jays made him pay for it. Tommy Hunter was solid in relief, going 1.1 innings and striking out 3 batters.

On Friday, the Rays will send Matt Andriese to the mound (game begins at 7:10 PM) in the second game of the four game series.

Orlando Magic

The Magic fell 102 to 122 on Tuesday night to Cleveland in another game they lead at the half in and just fell apart. Seriously, how bad is this defense? Even better, where is the answer? Evan Fournier had 21 points and 2 steals while Elfrid Payton had 12 points, 6 assists (1 turnover), and 4 rebounds. Mario Hezonja had 13 points, going 6 for 6 at the charity stripe. Kevin Love killed them, totaling 28 points on 5 for 9 from 3-point range. Yeah, this was ugly for this group.

On Thursday night the Magic snapped their 4-game losing streak, beating Brooklyn 115 to 107 to move their record to 28-51 (hurrah?). Elfrid Payton had 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 11 assists as he continues to put together solid games late in the year. Aaron Gordon had 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals while Mario Hezonja had 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks off the bench. Look, this team is trash, but at least they beat a team that is more trash than they are.

The Magic will host Indiana on Saturday night at 6 PM. Only 3 games left on the schedule! Thank god this year is almost over…

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