Coming off a 5-3 loss at home to FGCU on Tuesday, the baseball team hosted Memphis in a three-game series this weekend. The first game of the series was a win for the Bulls, 3-1. Jimmy Herget had yet another strong night on the mound and threw his first complete game of the year. He finished with only one run charged against off seven hits and seven strikeouts. Things were quiet offensively for both teams until the sixth inning, when all four of the games' runs were scored. Memphis started out the inning with a runner scoring all the way from first off a ball hit into the left-centerfield gap. The Bulls wasted no time in answering. They managed to load the bases, partially thanks to a fielding error, with no outs to start the bottom of the inning. The first run came thanks to some heads up base running from Kyle Teaf. Levi Borders hit a fly-ball in foul territory to the first baseman for the first out, but Teaf took advantage of the situation and scored on the play. The bases were then promptly re-loaded thanks to Luke Maglich getting hit by a pitch. Lawrence Pardo then drove in the final two runs for the Bulls off a single up the middle.
The second game of the series was another USF victory, this time by a score of 5-3. Memphis jumped out to a 3-0 lead heading into the fifth, but gave up five unanswered runs to seal their fate. The Bulls evened things up 3-3 in the fifth, thanks to some small ball play. A couple of bunts and some clutch singles were to thank for the runs. "We had some great at-bats in crucial situations," said head coach Lelo Prado. Casey Mulholland got the start for the Bulls, but only lasted 4.1 innings and gave up all three Memphis runs, though only one was earned.
The Bulls went into the third, and final, game of the series looking for their first conference sweep of the year. The stars were not aligned though and the Bulls fell 7-5. The offense was certainly there for USF, but 17 hits was apparently not enough. "I guess they made pitches when they had to," Lelo Prado said. "We had plenty of opportunities and that happens in this crazy game." The Bulls took a 3-1 lead into the sixth, but gave up a big six run inning to seal the loss. Tommy Peterson started the game on the mound for the Bulls and lasted 5.1 innings before leaving the game. He gave up five runs, four earned, off of just four hits and was hooked for the loss. Next up for the Bulls is a home game against UNF at 6 PM on Tuesday before they end the regular season with a three-game home series against #12 Louisville.
The men's golf team began the American Athletic Conference Championship Tournament on Sunday. The Bulls are sitting at a solid third place out of ten after day one. USF is seven strokes behind first placed UCF and will look to make that ground back in the next two days of the tournament. "We missed an opportunity to take control of the tournament," head coach Chris Malloy said. "That happens in golf, but if we handled ourselves a little better on the back nine we'd be set. The good news is we had five guys who were all right there. We're only a few shots back, so we can make a move tomorrow and be ok." To follow live stats of the rest of the tournament, click here.
Coming off a 17-1 loss to the #3 ranked University of Florida Gators on Wednesday, the Bulls looked for a quick rebound in the weekend series against Memphis. And boy did they ever. The Bulls outscored the Memphis Tigers a combined 24-1 on the weekend, out hit them a combined 30-3, and invoked the run-rule in two of the three games. Sara Nevins pitched two complete games and gave up only two hits combined in those two games. She struck out a combined 20 batters and improved her record to 23-7 on the year. The first game of the series was tied 0-0 until the fifth inning, when all three of the games runs were scored. Kelley Braman opened the scoring with a solo home-run for Memphis, but it didn't take long for the Bulls to answer what would be the only run scored by Memphis all weekend. Dani Wayt and Kristen Wyckoff started things off for the Bulls in the inning with back to back bunt singles and then a double steal to put themselves in scoring position. Ashli Goff then brought them home with a two-run single up the middle.
The second game of the series was definitely not the pitching duel that the first was. The Bulls run-ruled Memphis for the 12-0 victory through five innings. Runs and hits came early and often for USF, as they wasted no time in getting on the board. After the first two batters of the game for the Bulls got on, Stephanie Medina drove them home with a triple to left-center field. Veronica Gajownik then brought Medina home off an RBI bunt single. The Bulls finished the game hitting almost .500 as a team (11 for 24) and almost scored more runs than Memphis had at-bats (12 to 15). Kaitlyn Santo capped things off with a three-run pinch hit home-run in the bottom of the fourth to complete the seven run inning and put the Bulls up 12-0. Erica Nunn was on the mound for the Bulls and went the complete game, giving up only one hit and striking out five.
It was senior day for the team on Thursday and they made sure it was a good one, finishing the sweep over Memphis with a 10-0 victory. Ashli Goff, Courtney Goff, Stephanie Medina, Sara Nevins, Kourtney Salvarola, Kaitlyn Santo and Dani Wayt were recognized before the game as the graduating senior class and played possibly their last home game as Bulls. Everyone was a little emotional, but USF knew what they were there to do. Sara Nevins got the start and tossed her second one-hit game of the weekend and lasted the full five innings in the run-rule win. The Bulls took advantage of three fielding errors by Memphis in the bottom of the second to jump out to the 3-0 lead. USF then sealed the win with their second consecutive seven run fourth inning. After the first two batters reached on singles, Juli Weber drove them home with a two-run double to extend the lead to 5-0. Ashli Goff then reached on a single before Kourtney Salvarola blasted them in with a three-run home-run to put the Bulls up 8-0. The final two runs were scored thanks to a fielding error and an RBI single by Kristen Wyckoff. "It's a great story of what that senior class has done, so you can get a little emotional, but you've got to get right back into the focus." said USF Head Coach Ken Eriksen. "I think the players did a better job of getting back into the focus than the coaches did, so that's a credit to them and how mentally tough they are, but I just can't be any more excited about having spent a long time with a bunch of great people." Next up the Bulls will finish off the regular season with a road trip up to Temple for a three game series starting Friday.