TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – They complimented their mode of transportation, a bus wrapped in the University of South Florida decor, endlessly.
“It is phenomenal,” said Billy Mohl, the head coach of the Bulls baseball team.
“It is beautiful,” said Jack Jasiak, a pitcher.
“It is definitely great to be on a bus and not a plane,” said Jake Sullivan, a catcher.
The enthusiasm can be explained by two terrible travel delays during the regular season.
“We have had some experiences in the airport this year,” said Sullivan.
He alluded to back-to-back trips to the University of Memphis and Wichita State University.
After winning three of four games against the Tigers in Memphis, the Bulls celebrated with a sleepover at the airport. They flew from Memphis to Atlanta but, when they arrived in Atlanta, their connecting flight to Tampa had been pushed to the following morning.
“After our travel schedule this year and sleeping in airports with flight delays and all of that, the fact that we are getting on a bus and we control our own travel time, it is phenomenal,” said Mohl, “so we are happy to be on a bus and two hours north and head to Gainesville.”
The travel troubles followed the Bulls to Wichita. They split the four-game series there and then, they had to split from their original plans to get to Dallas.
The flights from Wichita to Dallas had been moved to the next day and the earliest flights were full. The team decided to utilize their favorite mode of transportation, a bus, to get to Dallas. They drove through the night only sleeping for a handful of hours before finding a flight to Tampa.
“It was not fun,” stated Sullivan. “We were getting back at 2 or 3 a.m. but it is nice to be on a bus and be at a regional so close for sure.”
“As Jake said before,” added Jasiak, “we have had some problems on plane rides so it is nice to jump on a bus for a couple of hours and be there as quick as possible.”
That bus is carrying the Bulls to Gainesville where they will face the Florida Gators in the NCAA Tournament on Friday at noon.