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Bulls Beat: Jefferson's Herget fitting in just fine at USF

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Published:   |   Updated: April 11, 2013 at 07:24 AM
TAMPA -

It didn't take long for freshman right-hander Jimmy Herget to establish himself as a fixture in the University of South Florida's pitching rotation.

Expected to work in the bullpen with a few spot starting assignments, Herget has become the most reliable option for USF (19-14, 7-2, tied for the Big East Conference lead with Louisville).

“I feel like my team is always behind me and I'm confident in every pitch I throw,” said Herget, an All-Hillsborough County selection last season at Jefferson High School.

Herget was named Big East Pitcher of the Week after Friday night's 1-0 complete-game gem against Pittsburgh. He allowed three hits and struck out four.

In Wednesday night's 9-3 victory aginst Central Florida, Herget extended his consecutive-innings shutout streak to 25 before allowing three runs in the fifth.

Overall, he is now 4-1 with a team-leading 1.55 ERA. Herget's ERA is second in the Big East behind Louisville's Jeff Thompson (6-0, 0.51 ERA, four shutouts).

The idea of playing at USF always appealed to Herget, who wanted to be “the hometown kid who could have parents and friends at my games all the time,” he said. He hit it off with USF pitching coach Chuck Hernandez, who “knew where I was coming from.” Then Hernandez departed for the Miami Marlins.

“I felt a little nervous, because I didn't know who the new guy would be or how he would be,” Herget said.

When Lelo Prado hired Lance Carter, a former American League All-Star with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, things fell into place again.

“It's an adjustment to college, both in the classroom and on the field, but I feel good about it so far,” Herget said. “I still have to pull my weight (as a freshman), carrying stuff around and all, but I feel accepted.

“It's all game-by-game. I'm not dwelling on stats or anything. Things tend to go south if you do that. I don't want to overcompensate or think too much about it. I'm just grateful they're giving me the ball, and I want to produce each time I go out there.”

Pre-game meal The football roster has been split into teams for the Green and White game, setting up Saturday's spring game at Raymond James Stadium (5 p.m., free admission). Both sides are taking it seriously.

The Green team (Green Machine) is holding a dinner tonight from 5-7 p.m. at Lee Roy Selmon's Restaurant, 14457 N. Dale Mabry Highway, and the public is invited. There are happy-hour specials and bargains for anyone wearing green.

Willie Taggart put a different spin on the spring game. He implemented a “free-agency” period. Teams could each lure two players, enticing them with anything allowed under NCAA rules, such as first-class plane accommodations for a road trip next season. Then there was a 15-round player draft.

The Green team, under defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, acquired QB Bobby Eveld and DL Luke Sager as free-agents. The White team, under defensive backs coach Ron Cooper, acquired DE Aaron Lynch and C Austin Reiter.

In the draft's early selections, Cooper picked LB DeDe Lattimore first overall and RB Marcus Shaw fourth. Bresnahan loaded up on linemen, selecting OLs Mak Djulbegovic (second) and Brynjar Gudmundsson (third).

Bulls bits The men's golf team finished ninth in the 14-team Gary Koch Invitational at Old Memorial Golf Club. Junior Richard James and sophomore Trey Valentine tied for 23rd individually. … Women's basketball player Andrea Smith was named honorable mention on the WBCA All-American Team. … After her fourth career no-hitter (10-0 against Pittsburgh) capped a three-win week with an 0.36 ERA, junior left-hander Sara Nevins was named Big East Conference Softball Pitcher of the Week.


jjohnston@tampatrib.com

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Twitter: @JJohnstonTBO

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