The Bulls continue to pull through in high-pressure situations.
Pinch hitter Buddy Putnam produced the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the top of the ninth and the Nick Gonzalez bounced back in the bottom half to secure USF's 4-3 victory at Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday night.
"It was a huge hit for a freshman," USF head coach Lelo Prado said.
USF is now 8-1 this season in games decided by a run, including all three games during the current winning streak. The victory also helped the Bulls (26-12) surpass their entire 2011 wins total with 17 games remaining this regular season.
"I'm proud of them. Good teams usually win the one-run ball game," Prado said.
Gonzalez (4-1) became USF's second reliever when he entered the game with one on and one out in the eighth. The left-hander gave up a single, got the second out with a strikeout until allowing the Wildcats to tie the game at 3 with a wild pitch.
James Ramsay got things going in the top of the ninth with a one-out single up the middle and the sophomore made his way to second base on a passed ball. Putnam grabbed a bat and took over for Jimmy Falla with two outs and singled up the middle to put the Bulls ahead.
Then came Gonzalez's shot at redemption.
Bethune-Cookman (23-15) had runners on the corners with two outs in its final at-bat when Gonzalez got locked up the victory with a fly out.
USF starter Matt Reed was initially set up for the victory after allowing two runs on seven hits in six innings. Reed finished the sixth with a 3-2 lead after Luis Llerena put the Bulls ahead with a sacrifice fly that scored Kyle Teaf, who starting the frame with a triple down the line in right field.
The Bulls outhit the Wildcats, 10-9, and got a monster game from Ramsay, who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and raised his season batting average to .346 in 153 at-bats. Chad Taylor batted ahead of Ramsay in the No. 2 spot in the lineup and went 2-for-4.
The Bulls will look to stay hot 7 p.m. Friday when ace Andrew Barbosa takes the mound to start a huge three-game home series against Big East rival Louisville at USF baseball stadium. USF leads the conference with a 10-2 record and the Cardinals aren't far behind in third at 8-4.
"It doesn't matter who we're playing, if it's Louisville or whoever it is, it's still big," Prado said. "We have to go in there ready to play and hopefully we'll keep pitching how we are."