By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - The Bulls will see how they stack up against top competition right off the bat at this weekend's Big East-Big Ten Baseball Challenge.
Action takes place Friday through Sunday at ballparks in St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Dunedin. The event features No. 4 Louisville, Purdue, UConn and Indiana.
"We've got a tough month of February in front of us, but I think the guys have worked hard and they're ready to go," USF head coach Lelo Prado said.
The Bulls' season begins 4 p.m. Saturday against Louisville at Bright House Field in Clearwater. USF's next test is 7:30 p.m. Saturday against Purdue back at Bright House Field. The Bulls finish up with Indiana 1 p.m. Sunday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin.
Prado's club went 38-22 last season and made it all the way to the Big East championship game. USF's veteran coach knows a hot start could propel the Bulls to an even better finish in 2013.
"We just have to go out and take every game like it's our last game. You can talk about it, but the players have to do it and I think this group is going to be hungry," he said. "Our No. 1 goal is to win the Big East championships and I think we've got the talent to do it."
Tickets for the Big East-Big Ten Challenge can be purchased on site at each venue. All-tournament passes are $25 apiece and can be purchased at the entrance gates of each game venue. Day passes are $10 each.
2013 Big East-Big Ten Baseball Challenge Schedule
FRIDAY, FEB. 15
4 p.m. Purdue vs. Connecticut (Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin)
7:30 p.m. Indiana vs. Louisville (Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin)
SATURDAY, FEB. 16
4 p.m. Louisville vs. South Florida (Bright House Field, Clearwater)
7:30 p.m. South Florida vs. Purdue (Bright House Field, Clearwater)
7:30 p.m. Connecticut vs. Indiana (Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg)
SUNDAY, FEB. 17
10 a.m. Louisville vs. Purdue (Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg)
1 p.m. Purdue vs. Connecticut (Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg)
1 p.m. Indiana vs. South Florida (Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin)