TAMPA, MAY 7, 2017 – The University of South Florida baseball team scored five runs in the first inning which was more than enough to complete the sweep over East Carolina with Sunday's 6-3 Senior Day win.
All nine Bulls (37-10, 12-6 The American) came to the plate in the first, as they had six hits to jump out to an early lead.
The Pirates (24-24, 4-14 The American) got two back in top of the second on a two-run homer to center. But redshirt-junior Peter Strzelecki (Lake Worth, Fla.) settled down and put forth the best outing of his career.
Strzelecki retired 18 of 19 men at one point and pitched into the ninth. ECU tallied one more in the ninth, but the Bulls allowed nothing else and put the finishing touches on the series.
Strzelecki struck out a career-high 10 men and pitched 8.1 innings, the first USF pitcher to go longer than 7.0 innings this season.
Junior Kevin Merrell (Odessa, Fla.) went 3-for-5 with a run scored.
Senior Luke Borders (Winter Haven, Fla.) went 2-for-5 with a run and a RBI.
Sophomore Tyler Dietrich (Naples, Fla.) capped his six-hit weekend with a 3-for-4 afternoon along with a run and two RBI.
The Bulls tallied 13 hits as a team, as eight starters recorded a hit.
USF improves its record against ECU to 11-15, 7-5 in Tampa.
The Bulls now have sole possession of first place in The American, as Houston fell in the series finale against UConn.
The Bulls finish the home slate 31-6.
This marks USF's seventh series sweep of the season.
The Bulls clubbed double-digit hits for the 27th time this year.
Coach Kingston on the win and Strzelecki's performance.
USF plays its final eight regular-season games on the road, beginning with No. 7 Florida Tuesday 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 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.