BayCare Ballpark (Credit: AAC)

American Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament Begins Tuesday In Clearwater

BayCare Ballpark (Credit: AAC)
BayCare Ballpark (Credit: AAC)

CLEARWATER, Fla. – You know the old cliché about how anything can happen at the conference tournament? At least in these parts, there might not be a better example than what USF did in 2021.

The Bulls entered that year’s American Athletic Conference tourney as the No. 6 seed following a 24-26 regular season that included breaking even (14-14) in conference play.

What ensued was a most pleasant surprise for USF fans. The Bulls advanced to the conference championship game where they defeated UCF. That proved to be an appetizer as Billy Mohl’s squad topped No. 15 Florida and Miami on their way to winning the Gainesville Regional. The momentum was finally halted at No. 2 Texas in the program’s only Super Regional appearance.

Read: University Of Tampa Baseball Ready For Lengthy Postseason Run

There will be no such postseason surge this year as the Bulls (26-29/11-16) completed the 2024 season losing two of three to visiting UAB over the weekend, a series loss that kept them from crossing the bay to Clearwater’s BayCare Ballpark for the conference tournament.

It is the second time in the last five years the tourney has been played – the pandemic prevented one from being held in 2020 – that USF failed to make the cut.

The eight teams visiting the Philadelphia Phillies spring training home are led by top seed and No. 13 East Carolina, which enters 40-13. The Pirates’ Carter Cunningham is hitting .396 to easily pace the conference while pitcher Trey Yesavage, ranked by D1Baseball as the No. 36 prospect among college players eligible for this year’s MLB draft, is 11-1 with a 2.09 ERA.

The righthander has fanned 139 batters (fourth nationally) in 86 innings.

Tulane, which captured last year’s conference title, did not make the cut.

The action gets underway Tuesday with four games beginning at 9 a.m. Here is the tournament schedule.

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