TAMPA (April 5, 2014) – Casey Mulholland fired his second complete game of the year and the offense picked up nine hits as USF defeated UCF 4-2 Saturday night in an American Athletic Conference battle at USF Baseball Stadium.
The win improves USF’s record to 18-13 on the year and 5-3 in conference play while the Knights fall to 19-13 overall and 7-1 in league action. It also snapped UCF’s 10-game winning streak.
“I thought we played really well tonight and the guys competed,” said head coach Lelo Prado. “We need to come back out tomorrow afternoon and compete and win the series.”
USF’s defense was superb most of the night especially early on as they turned a double play in each of the first three innings. In the second inning, UCF got three straight singles to load the bases with no outs. Casey Mulholland struck out the next batter before Kyle Teaf and Nik Alfonso turned a great double play to get out of the inning unscathed.
The Bulls used the momentum offensively as they scored three runs which began with a Levi Borders one-out double down the leftfield line. Luke Borders followed that up with a RBI single up the middle plating his brother. Zac Gilcrease then hit the first pitch in the right-centerfield gap for his third triple of the year. Gilcrease would later score on a wild pitch to put USF ahead 3-0.
UCF pushed across their first run in the top of the third on an Erik Barber RBI single to leftfield.
Lawrence Pardo added an insurance run in the fourth inning with a mammoth blast to right field pushing the USF advantage to 4-1. The home run was Pardo’s first of his collegiate career.
In the seventh, Tommy Williams cut the Knights deficit in half with a leadoff homer over the leftfield wall. UCF had a pair of runners in scoring position later in the frame with one out but didn’t score again.
With the win, Mulholland improved to 3-0 on the year. He allowed 10 hits and walked one while striking out six in his 120 pitch performance. Levi Borders and Zac Gilcrease each went 2-for-3 with a run scored while Gilcrease also had a RBI.
Tanner Olson last just three innings surrendering four runs on six hits falling to 3-2 this season. The UCF bullpen tossed five innings of shutout ball. Williams and JoMarcos Woods each had two hits for the Knights.
The two sides will play the rubber match tomorrow afternoon beginning at 1:00 p.m. at USF Baseball Stadium. Each team will be looking to win their third conference series of the year.