TAMPA - It was walk-off Wednesday at USF baseball stadium.
Kyle Teaf's bases-loaded fielder's choice sent Anthony Diaz home in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 6-5 victory over Florida A&M that the Bulls certainly will take.
"Middle of the week games are like Sunday games," USF head coach Lelo Prado said. "They're a grind and you just have to get through them and get the win."
The game was tied at five after seven innings when USF threatened in the ninth. Todd Brazeal doubled to left field with one out with Diaz coming in to pinch run. Andrew Longley and Zac Gilcrease walked before Teaf hit a one-hopper to short and legged out a potential double play that would have sent the game into extra innings.
USF (18-8) extended its winning streak to four games after playing the comeback role for a large portion of its battle with the Rattlers. FAMU led, 4-1, heading into the bottom half of the sixth when the Bulls woke up at the plate and produced a four-run outburst.
Luis Llerena came through with a two-run single past a diving second baseman to pull the Bulls to within a run with one out. Alex Mendez tied it up one batter later with a sacrifice fly to left field. Chad Taylor kept the heat on the Ratters' bullpen with a two-out walk to put runners on first and second, and James Ramsay ignited the crowd with the go-ahead single to center.
USF's lead was short-lived thanks to an RBI double by Andrew Thomas off Bulls reliever Adrian Puig with one out. Thomas made it to third on a throwing error during the play but was tagged out at the plate on a passed ball one batter later.
FAMU (5-23) has lost seven of its past eight games but certainly came to play, pounding out 12 hits and putting the pressure on a USF squad that had swept Georgetown over the weekend. The Bulls will use Wednesday as a learning experience before beginning a key three-game Big East series with Notre Dame starting 7 p.m. Friday back at USF baseball stadium.
"That shows a lot about our guys coming back, but we still have to play a lot better for us to take care of Notre Dame," Prado said.