Here is the latest on the Sports Corner. USF MBB got some good news during the week. Meanwhile the Rays swept Detroit as they got back over .500 on the year. Check out the latest in this report as the summer months draw ever closer.
USF Men’s Basketball
The Bulls got some good news on Monday night as Jon Rothstein reported Penn State forward Payton Banks would be transferring to USF. The 6’6″ forward averaged 10.4 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and totaled 14 steals and 8 blocks last year in 32 games (averaged 26.7 minutes per game). He is the second Penn State transfer to join USF this off-season joining 6’1″ guard Terrence Samuel. They join join guard Stephan Jiggetts and forward Justin Brown in the incoming class. Still work to do, but the roster is at least taking shop for Coach Gregory and his staff.
On Wednesday, the Bulls got even more good news as per the reports, Coach Gregory landed his 2nd prep commitment from Putnam Science (Connecticut) Academy in forward Alexis Yetna. Yetna is a 3-star recruit (per ESPN and Rivals) that stands in at 6’8″ 215 lbs. and from all the measurables will give the Bulls more depth and size in the front court. Per Joey Knight, we stand at about 9 players on the incoming 2017 roster (again, USF has not made many of these official so subject to change. List was compiled by Knight):
G Payton Banks, Gr-Transfer (Penn State)
G/F Justin Brown, Fr.
F Tulio Da Silva, R-So.
G Troy Holston Jr., R-Jr.
PG Stephan Jiggetts, Gr-Transfer (Fairleigh Dickinson)
F Isaiah Manderson, Sr.
C Malik Martin, R-Jr.
G Terrence Samuel, Gr-Transfer (Penn State)
F Alexis Yetna, Fr
Late on Thursday night it was reported (via Twitter) that guard TJ Lang (6’7″) from Auburn was going to transfer to USF. Last year the junior guard averaged 4.3 PPG (16.4 minutes per game), 1.8 RPG and totaled 16 steals after averaging 7.1 PPG and 2.1 RPG the year before. If the reports are accurate he will sit a year and be eligible in 2018.
The Bulls, per the reports, added a JUCO defensive back on Monday in former 4-star recruit Jeff Farrar from Mt. San Antonio Junior College. The 6’1″ 203 lb. defensive back was committed to Virginia back in 2014, but instead went to Washington State, taking a redshirt in his first year and then went the JUCO route after that year. He was rated number 232 out of the ESPN 300 coming out of California. He joins Chauncy Smart (WR), Josh Allen (JUCO DL that may or may not be eligible this year), and Florida transfer Jordan Cronkrite (has to sit out this year, then eligible) as new players that have been brought in since NSD. This is a very nice late signing for the Bulls as it adds ready talent to a deep defensive back field that can always add talent.
On Wednesday night, the Bulls won 4 to 2 over UNF as the team took a break from AAC play, but moved their record to 30-7 (5-4) on the year. Kevin Merrell went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and scored 2 runs. Luke Borders went 2 for 4 and drove in 2 runs. Joe Genord went 2 for 4 with an RBI and scored a run in the game. DJ Roberts (ND) went 4.1 innings, allowing 3 hits, 2 runs, walking 2, and struck out 2 batters. Ryan Valdes (7-0) went 1.2 innings in relief, allowing just a walk, and struck out 4 while and Andrew Perez got his 5th save of the year. The bullpen (Valdes, Perez (at the end), Mark Savarese, and Joe Cavallaro) went a combined 4.2 innings, allowing just 2 hits, 3 walks, while striking out 9 batters.
The Bulls will stay on the road as they take on Memphis on the road on Friday night with first pitch coming at 7:30 PM.
The Bulls, 26-21 (5-6) are back home as they host Memphis on Friday night at 6:30 PM.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays fell 4 to 3 to Boston on Monday, dropping their record to 6-8 on the year after going 1-6 on their road trip. Blake Snell (0-2) went 5 innings, allowing 7 hits, 4 runs, walking 2 and struck out 5 (thanks to Brad Miller and his costly error in the 2nd inning). Tommy Hunter and Chase Whitley went a combined 3 innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 walk, and struck out one. Steven Souza Jr. was 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs. Corey Dickerson was 2 for 5, scoring a run, while Kevin Kiermaier was 2 for 5 and also scored a run.
On Tuesday, the Rays got back in the win column with a 5 to 1 win over Detroit, moving their record to 7-8 on the year. Tim Beckham was 2 for 4 with a 2-run home run (put the Rays ahead for good in the game). Derek Norris was 2 for 4 with an RBI as well. Matt Andriese (1-0) went 6 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and struck out 5 in a solid performance. The bullpen closed the door as Danny Farquhar, Tommy Hunter, Jumbo Diaz, and Alex Colome closed it out.
On Wednesday, the Rays won a wild game, 8 to 7 over Detroit to pull their record to 8-8. Tampa scored 2 runs in the 9th on a fielding error that came off of a fielder’s choice, yeah, it was crazy. Corey Dickerson was for 5 with an RBI and scored 2 runs while Kevin Kiermaier was 3 for 4 and scored 4 runs. Evan Longoria, without the beard, went 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs while Shane Peterson was 2 for 3 and scored a run. Chris Archer (ND) labored, going 5 innings, allowing 7 hits, 4 runs, walking 2, and struck out 9. Austin Pruitt (1-0), yeah, the guy I hate, went 3.1 innings, allowing just 1 hit and struck out 5. Told you it was a crazy game.
On Thursday afternoon, the Rays won 8 to 1 over Detroit to move to 9-8 to complete the sweep. Steven Souza Jr was 3 for 5 with a home run (3) and drove in 3 runs. Kiermaier went 2 for 3 with a home run (1) and drove in 2 runs total. Daniel Roberts was 1 for 3 with 2 RBIs including his first career home run. Erasmo Ramirez (2-0) went 5 innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 run, and struck out 5 in a solid spot start. Chase Whitley went 3 innings, allowing 1 hit, 2 walks, and struck out 3 as he continues to throw well since being called up while Tommy Hunter finished the Tigers off in the 9th.
The Rays will host Houston on Friday night as Alex Cobb (game begins at 7:10 PM) takes the mound.
Durham Bulls Bonus:
After being off on Monday, Durham got back in their respective win column, beating Indianapolis in 11 innings, 6 to 5. Kean Wong was 2 for 4 and scored a run while Cade Gotta was 3 for 5 with 2 RBIs and scored 2 runs. Willy Adames was just 1 for 4 with 2 RBIs as his early season struggles continue (pressing?). Chih-Wei Hu (ND) went 5 innings, allowing 8 hits, 5 runs, walking 2 and striking out 2. Ryan Garton (1-0) got the win after working the last two innings, striking out 3.
On Wednesday afternoon, Durham fell 8 to 5 to Indianapolis, dropping their record to 8-5 on the year. Willy Adames went 1 for 5 with an RBI while Patrick Leonard went 2 for 3 with a run scored and drew a walk. Granden Goetzman went 2 for 4 with a home run (1) and drove in 3 runs while Kean Wong went 3 for 4. Brent Honeywell (0-1), in his first start, went 6 innings, allowing 6 hits, 3 runs, walking 1, and striking out one.
On Thursday, the Bulls won 4 to 1 over Indianapolis to move to 9-5 on the season. Jake Bauers went 1 for 4 with a run scored. Mike Marjama went 3 for 4 with a home run and drove in 2 runs. Kean Wong went 2 for 4 as he continues to pile up the hits for the good guys. Ryan Yarbrough (ND) went 7 innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 run, and struck out 3 batters. Ryne Stanek (1-0) went 2 innings, allowing 1 hit, 1 walk, and struck out 2 batters.