Cincinnati, Ohio (March 30, 2014) – USF jumped out to an early 7-2 lead and held on to defeat Cincinnati, 7-6, Sunday afternoon in the second game of an American Athletic Conference doubleheader at Marge Schott Stadium.
“I am glad we took two-out-of-three this weekend but disappointed we didn’t get a sweep,” said head coach Lelo Prado. “We have a big week ahead with five games including an important conference series with UCF.”
Cincinnati scored in the first inning on a two-out RBI double into left-centerfield by Ian Happ to give the hosts their only lead of the day.
Daniel Portales (Tampa) started a two-out rally in the third inning with a single through the right side followed by a single up the middle by Levi Borders (Winter Haven). Lawrence Pardo (Miami) was hit by a pitch loading the bases before Austin Lueck hit a bases clearing triple in the right-centerfield gap.
The Bulls extended their lead over the next two innings receiving a sacrifice fly in the fourth by Portales and RBI hits by Hayden Kelly (Tampa) and Vincient Miniet (Tampa) to make it 6-2.
Tommy Peterson (New Port Richey) came on in relief in the fourth inning and stymied the Bearcats offense over the next four innings allowing just two hits and striking out four, including punching out the side in the sixth.
USF scored their final run of the game in the seventh, which began with Pardo ripping a double over the head of the right fielder and taking third when the ball was mishandled in the outfield. Lueck doubled home Pardo and stole third base with no outs but was stranded keeping the score at 7-2.
In the eighth, Cincinnati scored four runs with the help of two walks, a hit batter, a fielding error and a dropped infield fly rule. USF used three pitchers in the inning with Janick Serrallonga recording the final two outs.
Brandon Lawson (Spring Hill) started the ballgame for the Bulls giving up two runs on five hits over three innings. Peterson improved to 2-0 on the year with his performance. Michael Farley (Valrico) picked up his first collegiate save tossing a perfect ninth inning.
Offensively, Portales, Levi Borders, Lueck and Miniet all had two hits in the ballgame. Lueck went 2-for-3 with four RBIs.
Colton Clearly suffered the loss for Cincinnati surrendering four runs on six hits in 3.2 innings. Mitch Patishall worked the final 5.1 innings allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. Happ went 3-for-4 while Russell Clark was 2-for-5 at the dish for the Bearcats.
USF will have a day off before returning to the diamond on Tuesday when it travels to DeLand to take on Stetson in a two-game, mid-week series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.