USF baseball to face Rays in Port Charlotte next week

In order to become one of the best, teams and players have to compete amongst the best.

USF baseball is doing just that. Last week, the Bulls beat then-ranked no. 5 Florida. 

Next week, they take it to the majors when they play the Rays in Port Charlotte. 

"[Florida is] one of the top teams in the country, the perennial Omaha team," said USF baseball coach, Billy Mohl. "For our kids to go out and compete the way they did, I was really proud of them. That's kind of the expectation in this program. We want to go against the best." 

"I think if they get to go up against the best in the game," said Mohl. "I think it gives them an idea of what Major League Baseball is, they're going to get to see the talent first-hand." 

It won't be the first time the Bulls have faced major league talent. In 2012, they played the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field. Before that, there were three other times the Bulls have taken the field with MLB teams -- including the Rays in 2000.

"A majority of the kids down in that locker room, they want to play professional baseball, and this will give them the closest thing to it," said Mohl. "It will give them a little taste, and see the talent out there. It's going to just be a learning experience, a touch of reality, and those guys are looking forward to that."

As for the Rays, the game will be one of their 33 Grapefruit League contests during spring training. It will be played next Tuesday, March 5 at 6:05 p.m.