USF in 1st BIG EAST Baseball Championship

The University of South Florida baseball team finished the season 23-33, and 12-15 in the BIG EAST following a 2-1 series win over West Virginia last weekend. The Bulls will face the tournament's top seed – Notre Dame (41-14-1, 21-5-1 BIG EAST) – on Tuesday, May 23 at Bright House Networks Field. The First pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m. The game will mark the fourth and final contest of the day which begins with Louisville versus Rutgers at 10:00 a.m.

Date: May 23-27
Location: Bright House Networks Field (8,500), Clearwater, Fla.
Time: Bulls First Round Game at 8:00 p.m.
Television: N/A
Radio: USF Press Pass - 
Live Stats: GameWatcher - 
Format: The 2006 BIG EAST Championship is an eight-team, double-elimination tournament with the championship game taking place on Saturday, May 27, with ESPNU televising the title game at 1 p.m.

Seed: USF Bulls enters the 2006 BIG EAST Tournament as the No. 8 seed

First Round Opponent: No. 1-seeded Notre Dame (41-14-1, 21-5-1 BE) 

USF Record: The Bulls improved to 23-33, 12-15 in the BIG EAST following 2-1 series win over West Virginia last weekend
Notre Dame Record: The Irish claimed the Big East conference title and finished the year 41-14-1, the fourth most wins ever for a Notre Dame team.

The Series: Tuesday's contest versus the Irish will mark the fifth meeting between South Florida and Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish hold a 3-1 edge in the series history following a three-game sweep earlier this season at Red McEwen Field.

Rankings: Notre Dame was ranked No. 19 in last week's Baseball America Top 25 and No. 23 in last week's USA Today/ESPN Top 25

USF Head Coach: Eddie Cardieri is 731-544 (.573) in his 21st season with the Bulls.
Notre Dame Head coach: Paul Mainieri

Projected Starters for Game No. 57 - Tuesday May 23 - 8 p.m.

USF - No. 10 Casey Hudspeth, junior, RHP (7-6, 4.52 ERA, 103 K)
Notre Dame - No. 13 Wade Korpi, sophomore, LHP (2.20 ERA, 81 K)

Possible Second Round Match up: USF will either face the No. 4-seeded St. John's Red Storm of the No. 5-seeded West Virginia Mountaineers on Wednesday, May 24 at time yet to be determined. 

USF Bulls season Notes:

USF Bulls finished the 2006 regular season batting .269 with 31 home runs and 254 RBI. Seniors Kris Howell (.315) and Brian Baisley (.306) lead the Bulls offensively. Howell has registered a team-high 67 hits in 2006, while Baisley leads the team in home runs (6) and is second on the squad in doubles (13).

USF Bulls' pitching staff has recorded a 4.84 ERA with 443 strikeouts in 505 and two-thirds innings of action. The 443 Ks are the most by a USF team since the 1995 season (546). Junior Casey Hudspeth anchors the Bulls' pitching staff with a league-best 103 strikeouts. Hudspeth became the ninth player in USF history to registered 100-or-more strikeouts in a season, following his six-strikeout performance at West Virginia (May 18). The Sarasota, Fla., native has a 4.52 ERA with a 7-6 record this season.

***The USF Sports Information Department contributed greatly to this report.

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