TAMPA – University of South Florida (8-7) sophomore pitchers Matt Stull and Kevin Quackenbush recorded five and four strikeouts, respectively, in the Bulls' 7-3 victory over Bethune-Cookman (8-10) Sunday afternoon in the Bulls Baseball Classic.
"Matt [Stull] keeps us in games and Quackenbush was outstanding today in those last two innings," said head coach Lelo Prado. "We knew what we had to do. We needed a win and we got it. Hopefully we can build on it next week."
The Bulls also recorded five stolen bases, led by a pair from sophomore Ryan Lockwood, in their eighth win of the season.
"That was our game plan from the beginning, to run on them," added Prado. "It was a good win for us. We needed it. It was good all around."
Stull earned his second win of the season while Quackenbush picked up his second save of the season. In 7.0 innings, Stull allowed only two earned runs from six hits and walked two of his 28 batters. Quackenbush pitched two complete innings, allowing just one hit and striking out four.
Lockwood was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and drew one walk. Freshman Sam Mende was also 2-for-4 with one RBI and scored once.
USF took the early 4-1 lead, but B-CU inched up on the Bulls adding a pair in the fourth. USF broke open the victory by scoring three in the last two innings, taking home the 7-3 win.
Stull started the game effectively with first pitch strikes, facing only 11 batters through the first three innings. He registered a pair of strikeouts in the first inning, then added one in the third, fourth and fifth.
The Bulls took the early lead scoring three runs from one hit in the first inning. Lockwood started the day with a single to the right side, then stole second and advanced to third after Brandon Smith was walked and Jonathan Koscso was hit by a pitch. Lockwood then scored on a passed ball and Smith crossed the plate after a sac fly by Todd Brazeal. With two outs, Koscso stole third then scored on a wild pitch, giving USF the 3-0 advantage.
After Bethune-Cookman scored one in the top of the second, USF answered with one of their own as Mende made his way around the bases. He singled up the middle, stole second, was moved to third on a sac bunt by Brotons then scored on a wild pitch.
In the fourth, B-CU loaded the bases with one out, prompting a visit to the mound by pitching Coach Lazer Collazo. After the meeting, Stull allowed a two-RBI hit to center field, but struck out the next batter and bluffed a pickoff play to third, and instead threw out the Wildcat running to second base.
The Bulls added three over the next two innings, scoring a pair in the seventh and one in the eighth.
Brotons started the seventh by being hit by a pitch, then advanced to second on a bunt single from Lockwood and scored on a errant pickoff play as the B-CU pitcher sailed a throw into the outfield, then the centerfielder booted the ball toward right field. Smith sent a sac fly to left, which scored Lockwood, USF's sixth run of the game.
With one out in the eighth, Consolmagno drew a walk then stole second base, USF's fifth of the game. Mende roped a double to left field, picking up his fourth RBI of the season.
The Bulls travel to Tallahassee, Fla. on Tuesday for a two-game set with FAMU. Tuesday's game is scheduled for 5 p.m. and Wednesday's game has a 3 p.m. first pitch. Next weekend USF opens BIG EAST play when Rutgers comes to town for the three-game weekend series.