TAMPA - Joey Lovecchio's near no-hitter helped to seal the series win for the Bulls on Sunday.
The right-hander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of USF's 5-1 victory over Eastern Illinois in front of a crowd of 850 at USF Baseball Stadium.
Lovecchio gave up one run on three hits and struck out two in eight full innings. The junior transfer now leads the Bulls with 3 wins on the season.
"When you're struggling offensively you better have good pitching, good starting pitching. Lovecchio gave up a hit in the eighth inning. So the story today is Lovecchio all the way. He pitched a great ball game," said head coach Lelo Prado.
Ray Delphey pitched a scoreless ninth inning to help the Bulls improve to 10-6.
The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth when Todd Brazeal's fielder's choice sent Daniel Rockhold home.
USF added three more runs in the seventh inning on a two-run double by Rockhold and an RBI single by Buddy Putnam.
Eastern Illinois got onto the scoreboard in the top of the eighth, but the Bulls kept a four-run lead after a fielding error sent Chris Norton home in the bottom half of the inning.
This is the second time this series that a USF pitcher has taken a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Derrick Stultz gave up one hit in 7 innings of the Bulls' 4-0 win on Friday.
"We've got some talented guys on the mound and they're pitching good, they're fun to watch," Prado said.
The Bulls are back home Monday to face Yale at 7 p.m.