BROOKLYN, N.Y. (May 23, 2007) – The University of South Florida tallied one run in the first inning, and added a second in the bottom of the eighth to beat conference co-champion St John's University, 2-0, Wednesday night in the second round of the 2007 BIG EAST Baseball Championship held at KeySpan Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.
With the victory, the Bulls won their second game in a conference tournament for the first time since the 2002 season. USF was winless in the 2006 tournament, won a lone game in both 2003 and 2005 and did not make the post-season tournament in 2004. In 2002, USF was 2-2 in the Conference-USA tournament and 2-2 in the Tallahassee Regional.
Right handed pitcher Chris Delaney earned his ninth win of the season, his first victory in five tries after starting his senior season 8-0. He struck out three of his 27 Red Storm batters, allowing just two hits and no runs in six and one-third innings.
Freshman Shawn Sanford came in to relive Delaney in the seventh, striking out four batters and allowing just one hit in his 11th save of the season.
After holding the Red Storm scoreless for the first inning, USF notched one run in the bottom of the frame to take the 1-0 lead. USF held the one-run lead through seven innings, then added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to pick up their 34th win of the season.
USF scored in the first inning for the 22nd time this season as the Bulls recorded two hits in the bottom half of the first frame. Leadoff batter Walter Diaz put down a bunt to the third base side to reach the basepaths, then scored as sophomore Addison Maruszak doubled to right field, tallying his 44th RBI of the season on the play.
The Bulls looked to make anther dent on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth, but left three runners stranded after two drawn walks and a fielder's choice from sophomore Mike Consolmagno.
In the top of the seventh, St. John's threatened to score after sending a double to the gap in right field, then being hit by a pitch, but Sanford came in to relieve Delaney, forcing the Red Storm to pop out to first baseman Brandin Daniel, then striking out the final batter of the inning.
USF scored their second and final run in the bottom of the eighth, as Consolmagno tagged his second hit of the game then scored when junior second baseman Dexter Butler send a base hit up the middle. Butler drove in his 44th RBI of the season on the play.
Following Wednesday's win, USF will play on Friday at 1 p.m., against the winner of Thursday's 7 p.m. No. 8 UConn / No. 1 St. John's loser's bracket game.