TAMPA – The Bulls took the first game of the series against Valparaiso on Friday night.
USF (6-7) defeated Valparaiso, 3-2, in a late game comeback before a crowd of 1,132 at USF baseball stadium.
The Bulls bats came alive in the eighth inning.
Kyle Teaf got things going with a one out triple and Alex Mendez drove him in on a single through the right side. James Ramsay followed with a double, Mendez got called out at third and Jimmy Falla singled to score Ramsay and give the Bulls their first lead of the night.
“They’re showing that no matter how many runs we’re down, we can still compete,” said head coach Lelo Prado.
Valparaiso jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the third when Chris Manning scored on an error. The Crusaders added another run in the fourth on a solo homerun to right field by first baseman John Loeffler.
Chris Norton got the scoring going for the Bulls when he scored from first base on an error to cut the Crusaders lead in half.
Starting pitcher Jimmy Herget (1-1) pitched seven innings. The freshman gave up two runs on four hits and four strikeouts.
“He’s going to be a great pitcher,” said Prado. “He’s given us a lift every time out.”
Lawrence Pardo and Chad Taylor pitched in relief. The duo combined for no runs, on two hits and two strikeouts in two innings of work.
“Our bullpen has been good and Pardo has been good all year,” said Prado.
Nik Gonzalez will get the start for the Bulls 6 p.m. Saturday against Valparaiso for the second game of the series at USF baseball stadium.