TAMPA – It took extra innings but the Bulls made sure they gave head coach Lelo Prado his 800th career win Friday afternoon at Georgetown.
Levi Borders’ go-ahead single sparked a four-run 10th inning and USF held on for a 10-6 victory to even the series at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, Md.
USF took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth and went ahead again in the top of the ninth before regrouping in extra innings to help Prado reach the impressive milestone.
“Since I’ve been here we haven’t won too many of those types of games,” Prado said. “I was proud of the guys. It was just so awesome for them to win a ball game like that. They weren’t going to be denied today and they did a great job.”
Prado won 278 games in his first head coaching stint at Tampa (1989-95). He added 320 to his total at Louisville (1995-2006) and recently passed the 200-win mark as a Bull.
“I want to see USF win big here. I want to see these young guys experience a championship and that’s all I care about,” Prado said. “It’s not about me. It’s not about my coaches. It’s about the players and I want to see them win here.”
USF wound up outhitting Georgetown, 19-9, while Borders went 3-for-5 with two RBIs. James Ramsay went 3-for-6 and Kyle Teaf, Alex Mendez, Chris Norton and Austin Lueck each added two hits. Norton’s hits were doubles and Jimmy Falla drove in two runs to help the Bulls (14-13, 4-1) get back over the .500 mark.
Reliever Lawrence Pardo (3-1) got the win after he held Georgetown hitless for the final 1 2/3 innings. USF got another quality start from Nick Gonzalez, who gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits in 7 2/3 innings.
Saturday’s series finale is set for a 1 p.m. start back at Shirley Povich Field.