Bulls Down Villanova, 10-1, to Take Series
PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA. – A nine-run sixth inning and a strong pitching performance from senior RHP Kyle Eastham powered the University of South Florida baseball team (12-14, 3-2) to a 10-1 victory over Villanova to complete the doubleheader sweep and take the weekend series from the Wildcats Saturday afternoon at the Villanova Ballpark in Plymouth.
After tying the game in the fourth at one, USF exploded for nine-runs on four hits in the sixth inning taking advantage of five walks and a hits batsman issued by the Wildcats in the inning alone. The inning was highlighted by a two-run double by senior Peter Brotons and a base-loaded triple by junior Sam Mende.
The inning was the highest scoring inning of the season for the Bulls and put them in command for good.
With a nine run lead in his back pocket, Eastham, who had been locked in a pitcher’s duel with Villanova ace Kyle McMyne prior to the sixth inning, shut the door retiring six of the final seven batters he faced.
After giving up a run in the first, Eastham silenced the Villanova line-up scattering four hits over 7.0 innings of work en route to his third win of the season. He walked just one, the first batter of the game, while striking out four.
Eastham retired the Wildcats in order in five of his seven innings of work but his most impressive feat came in the in the fifth frame. With the score knotted at one, Villanova loaded the bases after a single and two USF errors with no outs. Eastham worked his way out of the jam unscathed after a soft line-out to second, a strike out followed by a weak grounder to third base to keep the game tied.
Offensively, USF outhit the Wildcats, 10-8, led by two hit outings by Chad Taylor, James Ramsay and senior Peter Brotons. In addition to driving in three runs, Mende also scored twice.
Junior reliever Jimmy Moran worked 2.0 innings of scoreless relief to finish up the game.
USF will look for the series sweep in the finale on Sunday as junior LHP Matt Reed will take the mound for the Bulls. First pitch is slated for 12:15 p.m..
The game was played in 2:35... Eastham is now tied with fellow senior Randy Fontanez for the team lead in wins with three... USF is 11-5 all-time vs. Villanova... USF is 5-3 in games in Philadelphia... The Bulls have won four straight series from the Wildcats... Five different Bulls drove in a run and each starter scored a run... Junior Carlin has hit safely in six straight games...