TAMPA – The No. 25 Bulls completed the series sweep against St. John’s to stay atop the Big East standings.
“The guys played hard enough to win,” said Prado. “They did everything they needed to do to win and that’s all that matters.”
Jimmy Falla blasted a solo shot over the left field wall to help USF win the series finale, 4-2, on Sunday. The solo shot was Falla’s second homerun of the season. The senior went 1-for-2 with one run, two RBI’s and two walks.
Right-hander Joey Lovecchio pitched five scoreless innings before giving up one run. Lovecchio (5-2) allowed four hits and no walks in six innings of work.
“He’s a senior and we expected that out of him. He is giving us good starts,” Prado said.
Kyle Teaf put the Bulls up early leading off the third inning with a bunt single and he scored on a fielding error by the pitcher.
The Red Storm cut the Bulls lead in half on a two-out RBI-single by Jimmy Brennan that scored Frank Schwindel in the sixth.
USF added two insurance runs in the eighth frame when James Ramsay drew a walk with the bases loaded and Falla collected an RBI when he was hit with a pitch.
St. John’s tacked on a run in the ninth before reliever Lawrence Pardo ended the threat with a double-play ball. Pardo got his second save of the season allowing two hits and one walk in 1 1/3 innings.
“They guys are focused and they are locked in,” said Prado. “As long as they stay locked, we’re going to be a good team.”
The Bulls return to action with two home midweek games. Game one is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start Tuesday, April 30 against Bethune-Cookman and game two is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1 against Stetson at USF Baseball Stadium.
“We have a big game Tuesday and we have to take care of business,” said Prado.