Bulls Bow Out Of BIG EAST Championships

May 23, 2009

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1 2 5 0 1 0 1 0 0 10
USF 1 0 0 4 0 0 2 1 0 8

2009 BIG EAST Baseball Championship Schedule:

Tuesday, May 19
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com, live audio on Sirius XM Radio)
Game 1 – No. 5 Notre Dame 14, No. 4 St. John’s 5
Game 2 – No. 1 Louisville 12, No. 8 Cinicnnati 2 (7)
Game 3 – No. 6 Connecticut 6, No. 3 West Virginia 1

Wednesday, May 20
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com, live audio on Sirius XM Radio)
Game 4 – No. 2 USF 12, No. 7 Pittsburgh 2 (8)
Game 5 – No. 4 St. John’s 12, No. 8 Cinicnnati 2

Thursday, May 21
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com, live audio on Sirius XM Radio)
Game 6 – No. 1 Louisville 12, No. 5 Notre Dame 2 
Game 7 – No. 3 West Virginia 20, No. 7 Pittsburgh 8
Friday, May 22
(Live video on www.bigeastbaseball.com, live audio on Sirius XM Radio)
Game 8 – No. 6 Connecticut 4, No. 2 USF 2
Game 9 - No. 5 Notre Dame 11, No. 4 St. John's 10
Game 10 - No. 2 USF 11, No. 3 West Virginia 6

Saturday, May 23
(live audio on Sirius XM Radio)
Game 11 - No. 5 Notre Dame 6, No. 1 Louisville 5
Game 12 - No. 6 Connecticut 10,  No. 2 USF, 8
Game 13 - No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 1 Louisville 6 p.m.

Sunday, May 24
Game 15 - Semifinal winners, 11 a.m.

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The University of South Florida baseball team fell just two runs shy of a seven-run comeback against Connecticut and lost 10-8 to end their run in the BIG EAST Tournament.

The Bulls fell behind the Huskies 8-1, then 10-4, before closing the gap to 10-8 in the eighth, but the Bulls could not finish the comeback in the ninth.

Sam Mende recorded his fourth hit of the game in the ninth with two outs, but was stranded at first after Ryan Lockwood flied to left to end the game and the Bulls’ season.

USF lost to UConn on Thursday 4-2 and were eliminated by the Huskies on Saturday. It is the second time since joining the BIG EAST that the Bulls have lost two games to UConn in the tournament to be eliminated. The Bulls lost back-to-back games to Connecticut in 2006 to end their run.

Mende, USF's freshman shortstop, collected four hits in the final game against UConn, finishing the BIG EAST Tournament with 11 hits in 17 at-bats. Mende’s four hits is a season high for Mende, and he also tagged a pair of doubles for the first time in his career.

Junior Carlin, Todd Brazeal and Mike Consolmagno each collected a pair of hits for the Bulls in the season finale.

The 12 hits USF collected was the 38th time this season that they have recorded a double-digit hit total.

Eight of the nine starters in the Bulls’ lineup scored a run in the game, but USF fell just a pair short of the comeback. Six of the 10 USF hitters recorded an RBI in the loss.

Consolmagno doubled in a run in his final game as a USF Bull. Trey Manz, Chris Rey, and Brandon Smith also finished their career as Bulls on Saturday.

"The seniors have been great," said Prado. "They work hard and they are quality kids."

Junior Matt Quevedo made his third start of the season, but he came out after giving up five runs from five hits in 2.1 innings. He was tagged with his third loss of the season. 

Joe Cole came in relief of Quevedo and allowed three runs on a pair of hits, then Teddy Kaufman took over for Cole and put in 2.0 innings, allowing one run on four hits and struck out three before yielding to Kyle Eastham. Eastham lasted 2.2 innings and allowed a run on one hit while striking out three Huskies.

Lefty Stephen Hunt made his longest appearance of the season when he took the hill for 2.0 innings and held UConn scoreless while allowing just one hit.

UConn scored eight runs in the first three innings to take the early seven-run lead.

After UConn tagged a leadoff home run in the first inning, the Bulls answered with a pair of hits from Junior Carlin and Todd Brazeal, then a sac fly from Chris Rey to tie the game.

The Huskies added a two-run homer in the second to extend their lead 3-1.

Five runs came from a pair of walks and five Husky hits, including one double, in the third inning.

USF held UConn scoreless in the top of the fourth then the Bulls plated four runs in the bottom of the inning to get back into the game.

Rey drew a leadoff walk, then five hits from the next six batters drove in four runs. Sam Mende doubled to right field, Ryan Lockwood hit an RBI single to right then Andrew Longley singled to left to drive in the second run of the inning. Mike Consolmagno tagged USF’s second double of the inning, an RBI shot to center, then with one out, Carlin sent a single to center to plate USF’s final run of the inning.

UConn hit their third homer of the game in the fifth, a leadoff shot that gave the Huskies the 9-5 edge.

Both teams were shut out in the sixth as USF righty Kyle Eastham forced a pair of ground outs and struck out one.

The seventh began with the third leadoff home run of the game by UConn, extending the Husky lead to five runs.

USF again chipped away at the margin, scoring a pair of runs in the seventh from one hit and three UConn errors. In the inning, Mende ripped his third hit of the game, an RBI single up the middle.

The manufactured a run in the eighth as Consolmagno reached on a bunt single, and advanced to second on a throwing error by the pitcher. Peter Brotons walked, and both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch to bring up Carlin. Carlin grounded out to score Consolmagno from third.

With two outs in the ninth, Mende singled to keep the Bulls’ hopes of a comeback alive, but Lockwood flew out to center to end the game, advancing UConn the championship game.

"This is tough," said senior outfielder Mike Consolmagno. "I've been here five years,and it's been a great time. I love USF. I love all of my teammates. It was great."

USF ends the season 34-25, which ties for the second-most wins in the past 12 seasons of USF baseball.



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