The baseball team is in Houston this weekend taking on the #12 Cougars. Game one was a heartbreaking loss for the Bulls, but they were able to rebound last night and take game two of the series to tie things up. It was the first win for USF over a ranked opponent since last year (when they beat Pittsburgh on April 7th) and the highest ranked team they have beaten since 2012 (when they beat #2 Florida).
Casey Mulholland didn't have his best stuff, but did just enough to earn his fourth win of the year to improve to 4-0. He lasted only just 5.1 innings and gave up two runs off six hits and struck out two. Lawrence Pardo showcased his pitching talents in relief of Mulholland after starting the game at first base. Pardo came on with two runners in scoring position and just one out in the sixth inning and proceeded to strike out the next two batters to get out of the jam. He went on to finish out the rest of the game on the mound and earned his second save of the season.
The Bulls got out to a very hot start and scored all four of their runs in the first inning. Back to back singles by Kyle Teaf and Lawrence Pardo and a sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position with just one out for Luke Maglich. Maglich grounded out to the shortstop, but it was good enough to bring in one of the runs. Buddy Putnam then beat out an infield single to bring in the second run. Luke Borders walked, then his brother, Levi, drove him and Putnam in with an RBI double to finish off the scoring.
"That was a great win for us tonight," said USF Head Coach Lelo Prado. "The way we bounced back today was unbelievable. Our guys were ready to go from the get-go after what happened last night. Casey didn't have his best stuff but he fought through it. Pardo pitched outstanding doing what he had to do for us to close out the ballgame."
This was a big win for the Bulls and might just keep their postseason hopes alive. The third, and final, game of the series will be played today at 1:30 PM at Cougar Field in Houston. Tommy Peterson (1.93 ERA, 3-1) will get the start for the Bulls and matchup against Jared West (2.66 ERA, 2-2). The Bulls will then return home to host FGCU on Tuesday night (6:30 PM) and Memphis in the weekend series.