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South Florida start Fall Series on Thursday


SouthFloridaFallBall TAMPA – The University of South Florida baseball team will wrap up its 2009 fall season with annual Fall World Series beginning on Thursday, Nov. 5 and wrapping up on Saturday Nov. 7.

"Our Fall World Series is a great way to end our fall practice schedule," said Bulls head coach Lelo Prado. "The players are excited to play and they are ready to go and finish it off the right way."

The Bulls Fall Classic will consist of three nine-inning intersquad games with USF coaches drafting two teams, the Grey Team, managed by assistant coach Bryant Ward, and the Green Team led by Graduate Assistant Charles Cleveland.

Ward will be looking for a little redemption as Cleveland’s Grey team defeated Ward’s Green team twice in Games two and three in 2008 after game one was suspended in the tenth inning with the teams knotted at 4-4.

Thursday’s Game one will be at 5:30 p.m., Friday’s Game two will begin at 4 p.m. and Saturday’s finale will take place at 3 p.m. Admission is free and open to fans each day.

The Bulls lost just five players from a 2009 ball club that went 18-9 in the BIG EAST en route to a second place finish,  just a half game back of Louisville, and 2009 BIG EAST Coach of the year Lelo Prado enters his fourth year at USF with a vision to take his program to next level.

2009 Freshmen All-Americans Sam Mende and Todd Brazeal headline a solid core of returners, and the Bulls also bring back their ace in Randy Fontanez, who went 7-3 in 13 starts last season. 2009 BIG EAST Batting Champion Junior Carlin and 2008 Freshman Player of the year Ryan Lockwood also return to lead the 2009-10 squad.

This past summer Prado announced the addition of 10 talented newcomers to his baseball program.

The 2008-09 season proved to be a successful year not only on the field for the Bulls, as they were just as impressive in the classroom as they were on the field in bringing home the 2008-09 BIG EAST Team Academic Excellence Awards for their efforts. For an encore the team added yet another recognition for their work in the classroom. This time the award came from inside the USF Athletic department as the Bulls accepted the 2009 Provost Cup for Academic Improvement, which will be awarded annually for the most improved GPA among any USF athletic team. The award was given at the USF Athletics Welcome Back dinner.

The Bulls improved to an impressive 3.2 team GPA in the fall of 2008 then followed it up by posting a 3.21 GPA this past spring.

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