TAMPA, MARCH 7, 2014 –The Bulls broke open a 2-0 ballgame in the eighth inning by putting five runs on the board to come away with a 7-0 victory over Northwestern in game one of the series Friday night at USF Baseball Stadium.
Casey Mulholland was the story of the game easily throwing his best game in a USF uniform. The right-hander tossed eight innings of three hit ball keeping the Northwestern bats off-balance all evening. He issued just one walk while striking out eight to improve to 1-0 on the year.
“Great performance, it was all Casey Mulholland tonight,” said head coach Lelo Prado. “Outstand job by Casey on the mound, we got the hits when we needed it and we bounced back from the Florida State series so that was good to see.”
USF got on the board early as they plated a run in the first inning on a RBI single by Buddy Putnam to plate Levi Borders. Putnam leads the team with 14 RBIs which also ranks him second in The American.
That was all Mulholland would need as he struck out eight batters in the first four innings of work to set the tempo.
“I felt good out there today,” said Mulholland. “I had command off three pitches and I didn’t really have to go to my two-seamer today but I had that available also if I needed it.”
The USF bats finally woke up in their final two plate appearances. In the seventh, Daniel Portales delivered a RBI single to right field scoring Nik Alfonso making it a 2-0 contest.
An inning later, Michael Arencibia and Zac Gilcrease started the frame with back-to-back singles putting runners on first and third. Alfonso executed a hit-and-run plating Arencibia and keeping runners on the corners still. A bunt single by Teaf loaded the bases which was followed by two straight RBI singles pushing the advantage to 5-0 in favor of the Bulls.
Portales and Putnam would knock in the final two runs of the game with a fielder’s choice and sacrifice fly.
Jordan Strittmatter pitched a perfect ninth inning to close out the ballgame, making his conference leading eighth appearance of the year.
Levi Borders and Portales each went 2-for-3 to pace the offense. Portales also drew a pair of walks and knocked in a pair while Borders along with Alfonso crossed the plate twice on the evening.
Matt Portland was struck with the loss for NU allowing one run on three hits over five innings. He struck out four while walking four. Nick Friar pitched the final three innings surrendering six runs on seven hits and a pair of free passes.
The two sides will be right back in action tomorrow evening as they play game two of the series at USF Baseball stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.