WHO: Rutgers (25-26, 13-8) at USF (33-19, 15-6)
SERIES SCHEDULE: 7 p.m. Thursday; 7 p.m. Friday; 1 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: USF Baseball Stadium
By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA – No Big East opponent has won a game at USF Baseball Stadium this season and the Bulls plan on keeping it that way in their final series of the regular season.
USF has won 12 straight at home heading into a three-game series against Rutgers that starts 7 p.m. Thursday in Tampa. The Bulls (33-19) are 15-6 in conference play overall and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 6-4 victory at Florida Gulf Coast University on Tuesday night in Fort Myers.
Rutgers is 25-26 overall but has played its best baseball in Big East play, going 13-8 following a series sweep at Georgetown last week that secured the team’s spot in the upcoming conference tournament. The Scarlet Knights outscored the Hoyas, 27-15, in the three-game series and racked up a season-high 20 hits in Sunday’s 13-11 victory.
The Weekend Rotation, Senior Day
Herget is 5-2 and leads the Big East with a 1.66 ERA in 81 1/3 innings this season. The freshman right-hander is 3-1 against conference opponents with a 1.08 ERA in seven appearances.
Gonzalez (3-4) has a 3.36 ERA in 77 2/3 innings and his 70 strikeouts rank seventh in the Big East this season. Lovecchio (5-4) has a 4.22 ERA in 70 1/3 innings and he’ll be one of nine Bulls honored during Senior Day on Saturday at 1 p.m. USF’s other seniors on the roster are infielder Kyle Copack, outfielder Anthony Diaz, first baseman/right fielder Jimmy Falla, closer Steven Leasure, outfielder Alex Mendez, catcher Chris Norton along with relievers Adrian Puig and Chad Taylor.
Ramsay Having a Career Year at the Plate
James Ramsay led the Bulls in most hitting categories last season and has stepped up even more at the plate in 2013.
The junior center fielder tops USF’s stat sheet with a .335 average while starting each of the team’s 51 games. He’s currently on a 10-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in 31 consecutive games.
Ramsay already has surpassed his 2012 totals with 12 doubles, two triples, three homers, 38 RBIs, a .450 slugging percentage and 27 walks. All of that has been accomplished in 20 fewer at-bats than last year.