CLEARWATER, Fla.–South Florida sophomore outfielder Ryan Lockwood extended his hitting streak to 31 games with an RBI single against Michigan ace Chris Fetter in the second inning of the second game at Jack Russell Stadium today. Fetter has struggled, topping out at 88 mph with his fastball and giving up a number of hits on his two breaking balls, a downer curveball in the mid-70s and a sweeping low-70s Frisbee slider from a low arm angle. The Bulls seem to be sitting on his breaking stuff and have pushed across three runs over the first two innings for a 3-1 lead. Redshirt freshman Jake McLouth has a solo homer for Michigan, an opposite-field shot in the third.
USF has looked very impressive–and by all right the Bulls should sweep through this event, as they have been practicing outdoors for weeks while most of the teams here have not. South Florida’s defense on the left side of the infield has really stood out in the early going (especially compared with some of the defensive struggles we saw from Michigan State and UConn in the first game today). Third baseman Jonathan Kosco (who has two hits, a run and an RBI) and freshman shortstop Sam Mende made a pair of exceptional defense plays each over the first two innings. Kosco played a high chopper perfectly in the first and made a strong throw across the diamond to get the runner by a step, then made a beautiful barehanded scoop-and-throw on a ball deflected off righty Randy Montanez in the second. Mende has made two very good stops and throws on smashed one-hoppers. The Bulls are really excited about Mende’s potential, and it’s easy to see why–he looks the part of a professional shortstop with a 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame, and has tools to match.
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