By KY-SHON HEPBURN
Special to GoUSFBulls.com
TAMPA – Kyle Teaf went 3-for-4 with three runs and one RBI to help lift the Bulls over Stetson, 12-8, on Tuesday night before a crowd of 1,277 at USF Baseball Stadium.
“I am happy with the club and happy with the way they came out today,” said head coach Lelo Prado.
Teaf has reached base in 23 consecutive games. The shortstop got on bases five times against the Hatters.
“He comes to play everyday and when you come to play good things happen to you,” said Prado.
Starting pitcher Mike Clarkson (1-4) gave up two runs on three hits, three walks and one strikeout in three innings of work. Five pitchers came in to pitch in relief. Justin Patrick picked up his first win of the year and Alex Mendez got his first save of the season.
“I thought everyone that went in there did a good job,” said Prado. “It’s tough when you have to pitch a lot of guys, but they did their job.”
The Bulls jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on a pair of hits and a Stetson error.
Teaf got things started with a leadoff double. Mendez reached on an error, Jimmy Falla doubled to score Teaf and Mendez advanced to third then scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Norton.
Falla went 4-for-5 with one run and two RBI’s. The senior had a career high four hits.
“I thought he had great at bats today,” said Prado. “He was locked in and took some good swings.”
The Bulls hot hitting continued in the second scoring four runs on six hits to take an impressive 6-0 lead over the Hatters.
Stetson’s catcher Garrett Russini hit a two-RBI single with two outs to put the Hatters on the board in the third.
USF tacked on two runs in the fourth and Austin Lueck got a two-out, two-RBI pinch-hit single to push the lead to 10-2 in the sixth.
The Hatters got runs back when shortstop Tyler Bocock singled through the left side to plate Kevin Fagan in the seventh and Russini hit a solo-shot to right field in the eighth.
Nik Alfonso added two insurance runs in the eighth with a two RBI-single that scored Levi Borders and Joe Altieri.
Stetson rallied in the ninth, but fell short scoring four runs on two hits.
The Bulls will host Big East opponent Pittsburg in a three-game home series starting 7 p.m. Friday at USF Baseball Stadium.
“They are working hard and we have to get ready for Pitt on Friday,” said Prado.