ORLANDO – The University of South Florida (7-5) baseball team tagged a trio of home runs in the 13-5 victory over the University of Central Florida (4-9) Wednesday night at Jay Bergman Field.
The Bulls, who only had three home runs in 11 games so far this season, doubled their homer count as sophomore Stephen Hunt, redshirt freshman Andrew Longley and freshman Sam Mende each tagged a bomb in the team's seventh win of the year.
In his second-career start, Longley was just a double away from hitting for the cycle, batting 4-for-5 with three RBI off a home run, triple and a pair of base hits.
Hunt was 3-for-5 in the game with three RBI and a stolen base. Mende, who also had a homer in the Tuesday night game against UCF, had a pair of hits and scored twice.
Freshman LHP Matt Reed earned the win in his first career start. In 5.0 innings, he allowed only one earned run on five hits. Sophomore Kevin Quackenbush came in for relief, giving up only two hits while striking out three in his 2.1 innings. Junior Joe Cole ended the game for USF, scattering three hits and giving up two earned runs in 1.2 innings on the hill.
The Bulls, who tallied nine runs in the first four innings, held UCF scoreless through three innings. The Knights got on the board by scoring one in the fourth and a pair in the fifth, but the Bulls extended their lead 13-3 after the top of the ninth. UCF didn't give up, registering two in the final frame to end the game 13-5.
The Bulls jumped on the board early scoring three in the first inning from two hits and a Knights error. Senior Mike Consolmagno drew a walk to start the game, then moved to third on a single through the left side by sophomore Ryan Lockwood. Sophomore Jonathan Koscso drew a walk to load the bases. The Bulls' first run was scored as Lockwood crossed the plate on a wild pitch. With two outs, sophomore Junior Carlin singled up the middle, driving in a pair of runs to give USF the three-run lead.
The Bulls added one run in the second inning as redshirt freshman Andrew Longley tagged his first-career hit, a single to left field, then advanced to second on an error by the Knights. After a sacrifice bunt by junior Peter Brotons, Longley scored on a fielder choice off the bat of Consolmagno.
The Bulls added four in the fourth as Hunt, Rey, Mende and Brotons collected base hits and Longley recorded his second hit of the night, a triple over the head of the Knights' centerfielder. Hunt and Rey started the inning with back-to-back singles, then after a strikeout by Carlin, Mende sent a base hit to right center. Longley drove in a pair of runs with his long shot to center, then scored on the same play, due to an errant throw by the Knights' shortstop.
UCF tagged their first hit of the game with two outs in the bottom of the third, a single up the middle by Alex Friedrich. The Knights were unable to score in the inning, as Reed forced a pop up to first base to end the third inning.
USF scored for the fourth consecutive inning, adding one more run from Hunt's homer to right, his first bomb and the team's fourth of the year, to give USF the 9-0 lead.
UCF put their first run on the board in the fourth after a double and a single, then a sac fly to right field sent the Knights' first run across the plate.
In the fifth, UCF's leadoff batter Eric Kallstrom reached on an error, and advanced to second after a base hit from Beau Taylor. Bulls catcher Andrew Longley picked off Kallstrom at second base for the first out of the inning. With two outs, Stephen Branca sent a two-run long ball over the left field fence, drawing the score to 9-3.
Back-to-back solo home runs by Mende and Longley led off the seventh for USF, increasing the lead to 11-3. Mende also had a homer against the Knights last night, and Longley was a double away from hitting for the cycle in his second-career start.
USF has a busy weekend with the Bulls Baseball Classic, hosting Eastern Illinois, No. 16 Oklahoma and Bethune-Cookman. USF will play EUI at 7 p.m. Friday, Oklahoma 7 p.m. Saturday and Bethune-Cookman at 4 p.m. Sunday.
A complete schedule and tournament information for the Classic can be found at GoUSFBulls.com.