Miami (May 7, 2014) – USF used 10 different pitchers and Andres Leal drove in a career-high four runs to defeat FIU Wednesday night in non-conference action at FIU Baseball Stadium.
The Bulls improve to 25-23 on the year and snapped a season-high five game losing streak. FIU now stands at 34-13.
USF got on the scoreboard right away posting a pair of runs in the first inning. Leal knocked in the game’s first run of the game with a single into leftfield plating Kyle Teaf. USF got its second run of the frame with a bases loaded walk.
FIU answered right back with three runs of their own in the home half of the inning to take a 3-2 advantage. With two outs, Zach Sweety hit a two-run triple into the right field corner and came home on a single through the left side in the next at-bat.
Luke Borders tied up the game in the second with a single up the middle bringing home Teaf. USF broke the tie three inning later when Leal delivered a bases loaded, two-out single up the middle to give the Bulls a 5-3 lead.
Tyler Hibbert hit a sacrifice fly to leftfield in the sixth allowing Roche Woodard to score FIU’s final run of the game. It was an unearned run as Woodard began the inning by reaching on a dropped fly ball in the outfield.
Nik Alfonso started a two-out rally in the next frame to answer right back as he was hit by a pitch and stole second base. After Teaf walked, Leal again delivered adding an important insurance run extending the lead to 6-4.
FIU threatened in the eighth but Lawrence Pardo got out of the jam by striking out both batters he faced to strand a pair of Panthers on base. Casey Mulholland earned his first save of the year tossing a scoreless ninth which included two strikeouts. Cody Hernandez (1-1) earned the win getting out of a crucial bases loaded jam in the fifth to preserve the USF lead.
Offensively, USF picked up nine hits on the night led by Leal’s 3-for-4 performance. He drove in four runs and scored once while Teaf was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a pair of walks.
Despite the six runs scored, the Bulls still stranded 12 runners on base.
Robby Kalak suffered the loss for FIU falling to 3-2 on the season. He allowed five runs on seven hits and six walks. Edwin Rios led the Panthers’ bats going 3-for-4 with a walk and run scored. Julius Gains and Josh Anderson also had multi-hit performances.
USF continues its eight-game road trip to close out the regular season with a three-game American Athletic Conference series with Rutgers beginning Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at Bainton Field. The final two games of the series are set to begin at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.