Randy Fontanez and the USF Bulls fell to the Pitt Panthers 6-5 tonight in a pivotal three game set in Tampa. Credit GoUSFBulls.com for picture
The USF Bulls baseball team could not hold on to an early 4-0 lead, as the Pittsburgh Panthers came back to win 6-5 in the series opener at the USF Baseball Stadium.
The Bulls scored four in the first inning on two-run home runs by Sam Mende and James Ramsay (an inside-the-park homer). Pittsburgh started chipping away at the lead in the second, when Travis Whitmore launched a solo home run over the fence to make it 4-1. After an RBI single by David Chester made it 4-2, Pittsburgh tied the game in the fifth after two more solo home runs by Chester and Kevan Smith, and then took the lead after Daniel Rockhold's errant throw let a Panther score all the way from second.
The Bulls tied the game right back in the bottom of the 5th as Jonathan Koscso hit an RBI double down the left-field line to score Chad Taylor. But Pitt scored the game winning run in the 7th inning off starter Randy Fontanez, when Casey Roche laced an two-out RBI single.
The Bulls are now one game out of 8th place in the Big East standings after Seton Hall came back from a 2-0 deficit in the 9th inning and beat Georgetown 3-2 in 11 innings. In order to qualify for the Big East tournament in Clearwater next week, USF will now have to win one more game than Seton Hall the rest of the weekend, or win the remaining two games and hope for Notre Dame to be swept by Louisville.
CHAOS ALERT: The four-team tie for 7th is still viable after Rutgers defeated West Virginia tonight.