TAMPA, MARCH. 12, 2017 – Though it had gotten accustomed to winning with ease the last few games, the University of South Florida baseball team prevailed in dramatic fashion Sunday on a walk-off homer sweep Valparaiso with a 6-5 win.
The Bulls (15-1) tallied in the first inning, but we answered by the Crusaders (6-8), who took a lead in the third, as they loaded the bases with no outs and came away with two runs.
USF regained momentum in the fourth with four runs, capped off by a Luke Borders (Winter Haven, Fla.) two-run homerun to right field, making 5-1.
Valpo cut into the lead in the fifth with a pair of runs, making it 5-4. The bases were fortunately left loaded to preserve the edge. After two outs in the top of the eighth inning, a single, stolen base and a second single scored the tying run, making it 5-5.
The stalemate set up sophomore Joe Genord (Lake Worth, Fla.) for the decisive at bat in the ninth. On a 2-2 count, Genord skyrocketed a pitch to center and watched it carry over the wall for the win.
· Genord finished 2-for-5, while sophomore Coco Montes (Miami) led the team with a 3-for-5 afternoon and two runs scored.
· Sophomore Andrew Perez (Orlando) logged 1.1 perfect innings of work in relief and picked up his second win of the season.
· The Bulls 14-game win streak ties the third-longest in program history and it is the second-longest active streak in the nation.
· The Bulls’ bats reached 15 hits for the fourth time week.
· USF has now swept three-straight series and has won all four of its weekend series.
· Genord’s ninth-inning bomb was the first walkoff homerun for USF since March 29, 2015.
Genord on his walkoff and the team's vibe at 15-1
The Bulls host Harvard for four games this weekend, with first pitch in the series set for Friday at 6:30 p.m.
About USF Baseball
The University of South Florida baseball team is one of the fastest rising programs in the country. Under the guidance of head coach Mark Kingston, the Bulls reached the NCAA Regionals in 2015 for the first time in 13 years and USF followed that success with a consensus Top 10 recruiting class. Five players from that recruiting class were everyday starters in 2016 including outfielder Chris Chatfield (Riverview, Fla.), who led the team in home runs, and catcher Joe Genord (Lake Worth, Fla.), who was named the 2016 PGCBL Player of the Year. The Bulls won series from two ranked teams in 2016 (No. 21 East Carolina, No. 25 Michigan State, began the 2017 season with a series win over Iowa and earned just it’s second win over a top-five team with a 4-2 victory against No. 3 Florida State on Feb. 21.
The USF Baseball program has won five conference titles and the Bulls have made 11 NCAA appearances. Follow the baseball team on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram), visit GoUSFBulls.com for the most up-to-date information, and purchase tickets for upcoming games at USFBullsTix.com. For tickets, contact the USF Ticket Office at 1-800-Go-Bulls or by going online to USFBullsTix.com.