By KY-SHON HEPBURN
Special to GoUSFBulls.com
TAMPA – Kyle Teaf smacked a three-run homerun to right-field to help USF sweep in-state rival UCF in the two-game season series Wednesday night.
“It’s going to be a rivalry every time we play them,” said head coach Lelo Prado. “We did what we had to do and we came out and played good baseball.”
USF defeated UCF, 9-3, in the finale of the two-game series before a crowd of 1,202 at USF Baseball Stadium. The Bulls defeated the Knights in the first game of the series, 6-4, in Orlando to give them there first sweep of UCF since 1991.
“It’s a fun rivalry and it’s just a great series to come out and win,” said Teaf. “This is a huge win for us.”
Teaf extended his on-base streak to 27 consecutive games and recorded his second homer of his career. The sophomore went 2-for-4 with two runs and four RBI’s.
Big East Pitcher of the Week Jimmy Herget surrendered three runs on three hits and one walk in five innings for the Bulls. Herget (4-1) struck out two batters.
“He (Herget) is great. You know he’s going to give you his best,” said Teaf.
Jimmy Falla doubled to center-field to lead-off the fourth, Chris Norton followed with a single to move Falla to third and Falla scored on a sacrifice fly to stretch the Bulls lead to 4-0.
“We had great at-bats, we did some good things and it was good to finish the job,” said Prado.
USF (19-14) plated five runs on six hits in the home half of the sixth inning capped off by back-to-back RBI singles by Teaf and Alex Mendez.
The Knights got three runs back in the fifth to cut the Bulls lead to 4-3. UCF scored three runs on five hits including a two-out double and a RBI-triple.
USF’s bullpen pitched another solid outing. Janick Serrallonga, Jordan Strittmatter and Lawrence Pardo combined to give up no runs on one hit and one strikeout in four innings of relief.
“They are doing their job,” Prado said.
The Bulls hope to extend their five-game win streak when they host Alcorn State in a three-game home series starting 7 p.m. Friday at USF Baseball Stadium.
“We just have to keep going at it and playing well,” Teaf said.