JU vs USF: USF leads 53-51
JU vs USF at JU: JU leads 28-24
JU vs USF at USF: USF leads 26-23
JU vs USF at Neutral Site: USF leads 3-2 (all Sun Belt Conference Tournament games)
Probable Starting Pitchers
#38 RHP Greg Shannahan (1-0, 10.57 ERA) vs. #19 RHP D.J. Roberts (3-0, 3.07 ERA)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University (30-21, 14-4 ASUN) will play its final home game and final mid-week game of the 2017 season Tuesday, hosting former Sun Belt Conference rival #23 University of South Florida (39-12, 13-8 The American). The Dolphins and Bulls will meet for the 105th time Tuesday with USF holding a 53-51 advantage all-time, including six of the last 10. However, JU has won two of the last three at John Sessions Stadium.
The Dolphins returned to the good habits they'd developed in the 13-game win streak earlier this season in a three-game sweep of USC Upstate (22-28, 5-13 ASUN). JU outscored the Spartans 20-2 over three games. Michael Baumann continued to put distance on the JU career strikeout record with 10 K's in an 8-1 victory over Upstate Friday, and Casey Kulina pitched his first career complete game Saturday in another 8-1 win. Mike Cassala, Matt Meyer, Tyler Santana, and Spencer Stockton combined for a 4-0 shutout in the Sunday series finale.
Scouting the Opponents
The Bulls of USF are reaping the benefits of another year of college-level experience this season after starting up to seven freshmen in the lineup at points of the 2016 season. USF has already improved their win total by 15 with four regular season games and The American Athletic Conference tournament remaining on the schedule. The Bulls' pitching staff leads the nation in strikeouts per game, averaging 10.4 per nine innings, and have totaled over 500 strikeouts for the second consecutive season. But the offensive players aren't scrubs either. They're hitting .299 on the year with 308 runs scored, outscoring opponents 6.04 to 3.57 runs per game.
The regular season concludes with a River City Rumble for the ages. Jacksonville currently leads the University of North Florida (32-20, 11-7 ASUN) by three games in the ASUN standings. The Dolphins are in first and the Ospreys are third, with Stetson (25-26, 13-5 ASUN) sandwiched between the two schools in second place. If the Dolphins sweep the Ospreys they'll automatically win the ASUN regular season title for the first time since 2006 and retain the Old Wooden Barrel, but if the Ospreys sweep and Stetson loses two out of three at Lipscomb University (26-23, 8-10 ASUN) then UNF would win the ASUN and take the Barrel. Several other scenarios, including Stetson finishing first and JU finishing third, are also possible in the final ASUN weekend.