Long Ball Powers Bulls to 13-4 Win Over St. John's
Fontanez (4-6) shook off a shaky first two innings, struck out 10 batters and gave the Bulls 7.0 innings en route to his fourth win of the season. The Oviedo native scattered 10 hits yielding four runs, three earned. He walked just one.
With Fontanez settled, the Bulls' offensive attack took control of the game with using 17 hits, eight for extra bases and 13 runs. The Bulls set season conference highs for runs in game, one outing after scoring 11 in last Sunday's finale against Seton Hall.
The Bulls didn't waste much time before taking an early lead. Luis Llerena led off the game with a single to right center and then scored on the next pitch when Ryan Lockwood tripled to left center. Lockwood didn't stay on base long as he scored on a sacrifice fly from Stephen Hunt.
The Red Storm answered with a two-out RBI double from Jeremy Baltz in the bottom of the first, then evened up the score in the second on an unearned run.
Hunt continued to be driving force behind the Bulls offense and gave the Bulls the lead for good with his seventh homer of the season, an opposite field blast that scored Llerena for the second time on the day.
After the Bulls tacked on a run in fourth, the 'Green and Gold' put the game out of reach with five runs in the fifth.
The scoring got started on a solo homer from Todd Brazeal. It was followed by back-to-back doubles from Junior Carlin and Jonathan Koscso that pushed the lead to 7-2.
Freshman Chad Taylor capped off the scoring in the inning by greeting St. John's reliever Eddie Medina with a three-run homer off the scoreboard in left center. The homer was Taylor's third of season.
USF added one in the sixth on a RBI single by Daniel Rockhold and then added a pair in the seventh with consecutive pinch hit RBI doubles from Jimmy Falla and Alex Mendez.
St. John's mounted a minor rally and touched Fontanez for two runs in the seventh. Fontanez would leave after the seventh inning.
Zack Pietrzyk worked 2.0 scoreless innings to close out the game, yielding just one hit while striking out one.
Every USF starter tallied a hit in the ball game with Taylor leading the way with three hits and Llerena, Carlin and Sam Mende all collecting a pair of hits each. Taylor and Hunt drove in three runs each. With a win, the Bulls move into sole possession of fourth place in the BIG EAST standings.
The Bulls and Red Storm will play game two at 1 p.m. on Saturday. A chance of inclement weather is forecasted to hit the New York area. Stay tuned to GoUSFBulls.com for any possible time changes.
Stephen Hunt's three RBI gives him a team high 40 RBI on the season... Brazeal's homer was his first since March 16 at UCF... Chad Taylor's third homer of the season broke a streak of 24 consecutive singles for the freshman... Taylor has now hit safely in his last seven games and is hitting .461 during the streak... Taylor leads the team with a .471 mark during BIG EAST play... Fontanez's 10 strikeouts mark the third time this season he has had double digit strikeouts...