TAMPA, APRIL 14, 2017 – The University of South Florida baseball team battled back from a 2-0 hole after the first inning, but Cincinnati was able to clinch the series with Friday’s 3-2 win in 10 innings.
The Bearcats (18-16, 4-4 American) put together a pair of doubles in the first inning to score runners from first and take a 2-0 lead. But the Bulls (28-7, 4-4 American) loaded the bases in the bottom of the second and plated two men, though the bags were left juiced.
Both sides had chances to take leads over the next seven innings with a combined 11 runners left on base. After getting two men in scoring position in the 10th with one out, Joey Thomas flied out to center. Ryan Noda scored from third on a very close play, evading the tag of redshirt-junior Andres Leal (Tampa). The runner on second advanced to third but did not successfully tag up, and the Bulls wisely threw to an open second base for the final out.
After getting one man on in the bottom half, senior Luke Borders (Winter Haven, Fla.) doubled to left center to place two in scoring position with two outs. But the Bearcats forced a fly ball to center in the final at bat to end the game.
· Borders went 2-for-5 and was one of just two players to record multiple hits on the night.
· Sophomore Joe Genord (Lake Worth, Fla.) went 1-for-5 with a run scored and classmate David Villar (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) went 1-for-2 with a run and two walks.
· Redshirt-freshman Shane McClanahan (Cape Coral, Fla.) pitched the first 5.1 innings and allowed five hits and two runs. He walked four but struck out eight, seven of which were swinging strikeouts.
· Senior Ryan Valdes (Tampa) tossed 2.2 innings, allowed just three hits and struck out three, including two in a bases loaded jam in the sixth.
· The Bulls officially dropped their first home series of the season (7-1) with tonight’s loss.
· The Bulls suffered a similar defeat on March 26 against FAMU with a 3-2 setback in 11 innings. They stormed back with a 7-1 win in the series finale.
· USF leads the all-time series against Cincy 41-20. The Bearcats have now won four-straight in the series dating back to last season.
Thoughts from coach Kingston
The Bulls will look to salvage the three-game series with the finale that begins Saturday at noon.
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 win over FSU was part of the best start in program history thanks to a 19-game winning streak, the second-longest in USF Baseball records.
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.