JACKSONVILLE, FEB. 15, 2014 – After scoring just two runs in the season opener, the USF offense exploded for 11 runs including a pair of five-run innings in the second game of the UNF Best Bet Classic as they defeated Richmond 11-4 Saturday afternoon.
“I am really proud of our guys,” said head coach Lelo Prado. “They played 18 great innings and we came away with two big wins.”
“It wasn’t ideal circumstances with the last minute schedule change, but they responded well. Now we have to continue this good start tomorrow against North Florida.”
The Bulls got things rolling in the second inning as they scored five runs on just two hits. An error and a hit by pitch got Austin Lueck and Vincent Miniet on base to begin the frame before Levi Borders drove home Lueck with a single to leftfield. Following a strikeout, Michael Arencibia and Kyle Teaf both walked to force in the second run of the inning. Nik Alfonso then hit a grounder to Richmond third baseman Tyler Beckwith who came home with the throw, but it was off target allowing two more runs to cross the plate. Daniel Portales capped off the inning with a RBI single through the left side bringing home Teaf.
Beckwith did his best to make-up for his miscue in the next half inning as he smacked a two-run triple to right-centerfield making it a 5-2 ballgame.
USF (2-0) had a chance to put the game away in bottom half of the third as they pushed across another run on a Michael Arencibia sacrifice fly but left the bases loaded.
Richmond (0-1) scored the game’s next two runs, one in the fifth and another in the seventh to make it a 6-4 game, but the Bulls responded with another five-run inning in the bottom of the seventh.
Arencibia and Nik Alfonso both had RBI singles while Portales was credited with a RBI on a fielder’s choice. Luke Maglich capped off the scoring with a two-run blast over the rightfield wall to make it 11-4.
Justin Patrick (1-0) earned the win in relief tossing 1.1 innings allowing just an unearned run. Four other relievers saw action in the game including Jordan Strittmatter who struck out three of the four batters he faced. Casey Mulholland got the start lasting 3.2 innings. He surrendered two runs on two hits and four walks while striking out three.
Freshman Daniel Portales made a splash in his collegiate debut going 3-for-5 knocking in two runs and scoring once. Levi Borders also had three hits going 3-for-4 crossing the plate twice and driving in one. Andres Leal made a pinch-hit appearance and had a hit in his first collegiate at-bat.
Dylan Stoops (0-1) suffered the loss working 2+ innings for Richmond giving up six runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks. Peter Bayer tossed four innings of shutout ball for the Spiders.
Offensively Richmond mustered up just four hits led by Beckwith’s two-run triple.
USF started the day with a 2-1 victory over Liberty, a 2013 NCAA Tournament participant. Jimmy Herget was the star on the mound tossing seven solid innings without surrendering an earned run. Nik Alfonso and Luke Maglich both had RBIs in the game.
The Bulls conclude their weekend road trip with a contest against tournament host UNF tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at Harmon Stadium.