TAMPA, MARCH 21, 2014 – Jimmy Herget threw seven no-hit innings and Luke Maglich broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the seventh to lift USF to a 2-1 victory over UConn in its American Athletic Conference opener Friday night at USF Baseball Stadium.
“It was one of those days where everything felt good,” said Herget. “Everything was around the zone. It wasn’t like my last couple outings where everything was up and I was fighting to get the ball down. This one, everything was moving where I wanted and what I wanted it to do.”
“When he locates, he is really good,” said head coach Lelo Prado. “Against FIU, he didn’t locate and the video showed it. He was right down the middle and that’s why he got hit hard. When he locates like tonight, he’s pretty tough.”
With the game tied at 1-1, Kyle Teaf began the bottom of the seventh with a double in the right-centerfield gap and moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Nik Alfonso. A high throw by Devin Over pulled the first baseman off the bag allowing Alfonso to reach. Maglich then hit the first pitch he saw to deep centerfield to plate Teaf and give the Bulls a 2-1 lead.
USF got on the board right away in the first inning as Maglich drilled a two-out single in the right-centerfield gap. Daniel Portales then singled to right field plating Maglich and giving the Bulls a 1-0 lead.
The Bulls had ample opportunities to add to their lead but stranded eight runners on base in the middle innings including the bases loaded in the sixth.
UConn tied the game at one apiece in the sixth with the aid of a USF error. Jack Sunderberg drew a leadoff walk and moved up to second on a bunt. He then advanced to third when a pickoff throw sailed into centerfield before coming home on a ground out.
After Herget (3-3) allowed his second hit of the game in the ninth inning, Lawrence Pardo was called on out of the bullpen to retire left-handed hitter Bobby Melley. Jordan Strittmatter earned his second save of the year recording the final out of the ballgame.
Portales had the only multi-hit game of the night going 2-for-3 with a walk and a run batted in. Teaf was 1-for-2 with a run scored and also drew two walks. Levi Borders also walked twice.
Devin Over (0-1) suffered the loss for the Huskies tossing two innings out of the bullpen giving up one run on two hits and a walk. Anthony Kay started the contest for UConn going five innings. He surrendered one run on three hits and five walks.
USF improves to 14-7 on the year and are 1-0 in conference play while UConn falls to 10-9 this season and 0-1 in league action.
The two sides will be right back in action tomorrow evening as game two of the series will kick-off at 6:00 p.m. at USF Baseball Stadium.