USF baseball continues their freefall down the Big East standings after being swept by Notre Dame over the weekend.
The Bulls lost the opener to the Fighting Irish 8-0 on Friday. Randy Fontanez could only go two innings before being pulled due to an illness. He was shaky early on, giving up a two-run homer to Eric Jagielo in the bottom of the 1st, but retired the next five batters before being pulled. Zack Pietrzyk did a good job in relief of Fontanez, going scoreless for the next five innings. But Pietrzyk and Andrew Loynaz gave up a 6 spot in the 8th inning as the game got away.
The Bulls did not fare any better in the doubleheader on Saturday. USF had their best shot for victory in the first game, as they had a 5-4 lead going into the bottom of the 6th. Matt Reed and Jimmy Moran gave up five runs in the inning, including a monster three-run shot by Trey Mancini to give Notre Dame an insurmountable 9-5 lead. The Fighting Irish tacked on another run in the 7th to claim game one of the doubleheader 10-5. In the finale, the Irish busted out to a 6-1 lead and the Bulls could not get it any closer than 6-3.
Going into the final weekend of the season, the Bulls are in 9th place in the Big East standings, a half-game behind 8th-place Seton Hall and a full game behind 7th-place Louisville. USF will play a red-hot Pitt at the New Red, but will need to at least win the series against the Panthers, plus get some help from either Georgetown (playing Seton Hall) or Notre Dame (against Louisville) to have any chance to play in the Big East Tournament that USF is hosting over in Clearwater.
If they miss the conference tournament, this will probably be the end of the Lelo Prado era at USF.