Welcome back to the It’s Brewin at McEwen blog. Make sure you subscribe to our email list below so you don’t miss any of our posts.
In this article, we’ll be recapping the mid-week loss to UNF and preview a weekend series at Tulane.
UNF Review (By John)
Coming off of a 3 game skid to that team in Oviedo we don’t mention, the Bulls came back home looking to get right versus a UNF squad for the second game of a home & home split. Back on March 2nd, USF lost a close one in Jacksonville, falling victim to a walk-off home run from sophomore Aidan Sweatt for a final score of 2-1.
Offense and Key Players Back on Track (by John)
While that game was a relatively quiet day for the bats on both sides, this matchup offered a much different look for both squads. These two teams put on an offensive show combining for 23 runs on 32 hits. For USF, it was a great sign to see the bats get going. The Bulls racked up 12 base hits from 7 different players, 4 of which turned in multi-hit days.
Carmine Lane and Matt Ruiz, two players that had a rough past week offensively, got back on track. Lane went 3-6 with 3 doubles & 3 RBIs. Ruiz snagged 2 base hits of his own & an RBI.
Fellow sophomore teammates, Nelson Rivera & Drew Brutcher stayed hot combining for 4 hits & 5 RBIs on the night. Brutcher extended his home run total to 10, with a 2 run shot in the bottom of the 6th inning to bring the Bulls within 2. Unfortunately, for every rally USF came to the plate with, UNF had an answer of their own, ultimately handing the Bulls a 13-10 loss & their 4th straight.
Questions on the Arm Farm (by John)
As conference play continues this weekend, it is imperative that these bats keep going and we find some answers from our pitching staff. While they have not pitched poorly as a whole, it seems as though we can’t catch a break on the injury front, impeding any momentum this staff is able to attain week in & week out. Last weekend, sophomore starting pitcher Jack Jasiak was out and there have not been any reports to indicate he will be coming back any time soon.
We need to establish a starting rotation, 1 through 4, as we’re quickly finding out that bullpen days are not the long term ingredient to a winning recipe. Look for our boys to get right this weekend in New Orleans, as we take on another in-conference rival for a tough road test against Tulane.
Road Trip to New Orleans (by Matt)
Tulane comes into this series riding a 4 game winning streak, after sweeping Memphis last weekend in the conference opener, and beating Southern University soundly this past Tuesday. Tulane comes off a strong 2021 in which they went 17-10 in conference play (2nd place regular season) and 31-24 overall. The Green Wave, however, lost a significant amount of talent in last year’s amateur player draft, with 5 players being selected. Collin Burns (SS, 6th RD, 167th OVR) led Tulane last season in games started (55) and in almost every offensive category.
Tulane’s Offense (by Mark)
Overall record: 20-9-1 (USF 18-11)
Batting average – Tulane: .271 (USF .267)
On Base % – Tulane: .370 (USF .403)
Slugging % – Tulane: .436 (USF .452)
OPS % – Tulane: .806 (USF .855)
Home runs – Tulane: 26 (USF 39)
It does appear that the Bulls have an edge offensively. Although Tulane has a slightly higher team batting average, it’s apparent through the on base and slugging stats that the Bulls hitters are more proficient in drawing walks and hitting for power.
There are two guys who are really crushing it right now for the Green Wave offensively and their names are Ethan Groff and Luis Aviles. Sophomore right fielder, Ethan Groff, bats lead off for Tulane and is having a great season. Last season, Groff started in 40 games for the Green Wave but struggled at the plate. He batted .192 with a .644 OPS in 146 at bats. Now in 2022, he’s seemingly a completely different hitter and has a .418 average and 1.239 OPS in 91 at bats.
Groff is originally from Florida (Orlando) where he attended Trinity Prep. He was the #30 ranked shortstop in Florida coming out of high school according to Perfect Game.
The other name mentioned above, Luis Aviles, has been playing college baseball for a long time. He’s a 5th year senior, originally from Palmetto Bay, FL. His college career started at Rice University, then he went to JUCO, and now he enters his 3rd year at Tulane. He’s always been a good hitter for Tulane but this year he’s taken it to another level. He’s batting .366 with a 1.115 OPS. He primarily plays 1st base for the Green Wave and bats 2nd.
A couple other names to look out for in the Green Wave’s batting order are Bennett Lee and Jackson Linn. Lee is a sophomore from Tampa (Jesuit HS) who was the AAC Newcomer of the Year last season. During the 2021 campaign, he batted .440 in 125 at bats. Now in 2022, he’s been slumping a bit with an average of .240 and an OPS of .688. Jackson Linn is a true freshman from Boston, Mass. who was actually drafted in 2021 (20th round, Astros) but turned it down to attend Tulane. He’s off to a torrid start in college batting .377 in 61 at bats.
Tulane’s Pitching (By Mark)
Tulane is likely to throw out this weekend rotation:
Friday – RHP Grant Siegel (1.00 ERA, 36 IP, 38 Ks, 5 BBs)
Saturday – LHP Dylan Carmouche (4.54 ERA, 39.2 IP, 45 Ks, 16 BBs)
Sunday – RHP Michael Massey (3.89 ERA, 37 IP, 28 Ks, 7 BBs)
Also, look out for their closer, Zach Devito who has 7 saves and holds a 2.35 ERA across 15.1 innings.