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Cincinnati at USF | May 3 | 11 a.m. | Tampa, Fla.
TAMPA – The BIG EAST leading University of South Florida baseball team fell Saturday night to the Cincinnati Bearcats on Senior Night by a final score of 4-2.
USF dropped to 29-17 overall and 16-4 in league play, while Cincinnati improved to 24-20 overall and 11-9 in the BIG EAST.
The loss on Saturday night was the first BIG EAST home loss for the Bulls this season and ends a streak of 13 consecutive home BIG EAST wins, dating back to 2008. The Bulls are now 10-1 at home in the league this season.
Sophomore starter Derrick Stultz pitched 4.2 innings while only allowing three Bearcat runs on a total of seven Cincinnati hits. Stultz also struck out five and only walked one in his second loss of the year. Stultz allowed five hits in the first two innings.
“Stultz got in to a bad rhythm at the very beginning, and when you do that, it’s tough to get the bats going,” said head coach Lelo Prado. “It’s going to happen sometimes. You have to give their pitcher credit, he did what he had to do.”
The USF offense was held to just five hits, all of which came from three players – Peter Brotons, Jonathan Koscso and Trey Manz.
Brotons went 2-for-3 on the night and scored the first Bulls’ run, which was driven in by sophomore third baseman Koscso, who also had a pair of hits in the game. Manz hit a deep fly ball over the right field scoreboard, his sixth homer of the year, to notch the second and final run of the game for USF.
The Bulls’ offense was halted by Cincinnati starter Michael Hill, who recorded his third win of the season and improves to 3-3 on the year. Jake Geglein closed the game for Cincinnati, earning his seventh save of the year.
Cincinnati struck first with a run in the second inning, but USF tied the game in the third as Brotons reached on a leadoff double then scored on an RBI single by Koscso.
Cincinnati plated their final three runs on two homers, a two-run shot by Mike Spina in the fifth and a solo home run by Cameron Satterwhite in the seventh. Spina’s was the 17 of the season while Satterwhite’s was his ninth.
USF sophomore Zach Pietrzyk came in for relief of Stultz in the fifth, stranding the final baserunner of the inning. Pietrzyk pitched 1.1 inning, striking out one, and allowing one run from two hits.
USF battled back with a home run of its own off the bat of Manz, his sixth of the year, but were unable to make up the other two runs.
Junior Joe Cole effectively closed the game for USF, as he didn’t allow a hit or a run in three innings. Cole came up big for the Bulls in the seventh, when after entering the game with two runners on and no outs, he forced a line drive out, intentionally walked a batter, then got the final batter to ground out into the 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
Ryan Lockwood's streak of consecutive games reaching base safely ended at 87 games on Saturday night. In the fifth inning, he initially was ruled safe at first on a fielder’s choice, but was later called out on a runner’s interference.
The Bulls scored two runs in the game, which was the lowest conference run total of the season since the 2-0 loss on March 27 at Connecticut.
“We didn’t execute and I’m really disappointed with the offense,” said Coach Lelo Prado. “We have to bounce back because tomorrow morning will be here quick.”
The Bulls will face off against the Bearcats Sunday afternoon at 11 a.m. at Red McEwen Field. The game was originally scheduled for a 1 pm start, but it has been changed due to flight arrangements for Cincinnati.
The Bulls were held to their lowest run total since their March 27 game at Connecticut where the Bulls were held scoreless.
Ryan Lockwood's streak of consecutive games reaching base safely ended at 87 on May 2.
USF has clinched a spot in the 2009 BIG EAST Championship with their 16-4 record. This is the first time in the Coach Lelo Prado era to accomplish the feat before the final weekend of the regular season.
The Bulls fell for the first time in home BIG EAST games to take their home BIG EAST record to 10-1. USF had posted a streak of 13-0 at home in BIG EAST play, dating back to the Notre Dame series in 2008.