Tampa (April 25, 2014) – Jimmy Herget tossed his first complete game of the season and Lawrence Pardo delivered a two-run single to lift USF to a 3-1 win over Memphis Friday night in American Athletic Conference action at USF Baseball Stadium.
USF improves to 23-18 on the year and 9-7 in The American, while Memphis sits just a game over .500 at 22-21 overall and 4-9 in conference play.
“I am proud of our guys. We faced a great left-hander tonight,” said head coach Lelo Prado. “We did enough to win the game against a good pitching staff. We just have to go out tomorrow and win again.”
With two of the top pitchers in the conference squaring off, a low scoring pitchers' duel was expected, and it lived up to the billing. Neither side did much offensively until the sixth inning when all four runs were scored in the ballgame.
Memphis scored their only run when Zach Willis drove a ball into the left-centerfield gap, scoring Darien Tubbs all the way from first base.
It didn’t take long for USF to respond, as Austin Lueck began the bottom of the frame with a single up the middle. A hit-and-run put pressure on the defense, which led to a fielding error and runners on first and second with no outs. Luke Borders put down a sacrifice bunt attempt. Memphis tried to get Lueck at third, but the centerfielder beat it out to load the bases with no outs.
Levi Borders then hit a high fly ball into foul territory, which was caught by the first baseman, but as he was falling down, lost the ball but regained possession on the way down for the first out. Teaf was alert on third and tug up on the play knotting the game at 1-1. Luke Maglich was hit by a pitch reloading the bases before Lawrence Pardo delieverd the big two-out, two-run single up the middle to give USF the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Memphis got its leadoff man on in the ninth but a double play on next pitch erased both runners and a groundout to first base ended the ballgame.
Herget (6-5) allowed seven hits in the game allowing one run, while striking out seven to lower his ERA to 1.24 on the year. It was his first complete game of the year and second of his career. Pardo led the offensive charge, going 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.
Caleb Wallingforth fell to 5-3 as the left-hander went seven innings, allowing all three unearned runs. He surrendered just three hits and punched out five. Willis had the lone multi-hit performance in the game going 2-for-4 with a run batted in.
The two sides will play game two of the series tomorrow night at USF Baseball Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.