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JACKSONVILLE, FEB. 15, 2014 – Jimmy Herget picked up right where he left off a year ago tossing seven strong innings and USF put together a two-run inning to come away with a 2-1 season opening victory over Liberty in the UNF Best Bet Classic at Harmon Stadium in Jacksonville.
The Bulls got both their runs in the fifth that began with a Michael Arencibia standup double in the left-centerfield gap. Kyle Teaf then ripped one up the middle, hitting Liberty starter Parker Bean which ricocheted back to LU catcher Danny Grauer. Grauer’s throw forced a tag onto Teaf but the ball came out putting runners on first and third. Nik Alfonso then hit a sacrifice fly to push across the first run of the season.
In the next at-bat, Teaf advanced all the way to third on a wild pitch before he scored on a Luke Maglich single through the drawn in infield. Maglich had the green light on a 3-0 count leading to the single.
Liberty, a 2013 NCAA Tournament team, answered back in the bottom of the inning thanks in part to two USF errors. A single and two-base error put leadoff batter Dalton Britt on third base. After a fly out, Britt came across on a throwing error but Herget was able to limit the damage as the next batter hit into a double play.
Both teams had opportunities later in the game but were unable to push across another run. In the seventh, the Bulls had the bases loaded with one out but a fly out and popup ended the threat.
In the bottom half of the seventh, Maglich threw out Alex Close at the plate after a Nick Salisbury single to leftfield to end the inning and keep it a 2-1 contest. An inning later, the Flames loaded the bases but once again came up empty.
Janick Serrallonga came on in the eighth inning and recorded the final four outs for USF to earn his first save of the season and second of his career.
Herget (1-0) picked up the win tossing seven innings allowing one unearned run. He struck out just one but only allowed five hits.
Maglich paced the offense going 3-for-4 with a walk and drove in a run. Teaf, Luke Borders and Arencibia all had two-hit performances.
Bean (0-1) suffered the loss surrendering two earned runs on seven hits and a walk. Blake Fulghum was solid in relief throwing 4.2 innings of scoreless ball. Nick Lacik and and Britt each had multi-hit games going 2-for-3 and 2-for-4, respectively.