Up Next For the Bulls: Game 42: St. John's | April 30 | 7:05 p.m. | Tampa, Fla.
TAMPA - In a match-up that pitted two of the top pitchers in the BIG EAST Conference, University of South Florida (20-21, 9-7) ace Randy Fontanez delivered eight shutout innings to out shine St. John's Kyle Hansen as the Bulls defeated the 30th ranked Red Storm, 2-0, Friday evening at the USF Baseball Stadium.
Bouncing back from his first loss of BIG EAST play, Fontanez escaped a no-out bases-loaded jam in the first inning en route to tossing eight scoreless innings, scattering six hits, striking out nine batters while not allowing a walk.
Hansen, the reigning BIG EAST and National pitcher of the week, was equally impressive through his first inngs 5.1 innings but with one down in the sixth the Bulls would solve the 6'8" righthander.
Sam Mende's double into the left field corner allowed Junior Carlin to score from first to plate USF's first run. Mende advanced to third on an error by the leftfielder on the play. He came in to score on the very next pitch, an RBI single by Todd Brazeal through the left side, giving the Bulls a 2-0 lead they would not relinquish.
The Bulls would eventually chase Hansen with two outs in the seventh but could not do any more damage.
Just one week ago, Hansen struck out 15 batters against Notre Dame in a complete game shutout but it would be a different story this week in Tampa as he only tallied three punch outs on the night, while being touched up for six hits.
After escaping the first-inning jam, Fontanez settled down to retire 16 of the final 17 batters he faced, including nine straight to end his night. With the win, he improves to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in BIG EAST play.
Senior Kevin Quackenbush worked a perfect ninth, striking out one to record his 10th save of the season and preserve the win.
A game after having his career-long 19-game hit streak snapped, Carlin tallied two of USF's six hits.
The Bulls and Red Storm will do it again in Game 2 tomorrow evening at 7:05 p.m. at the USF Baseball Stadium, in a game that will be aired live on Bright House Sports Network. Carlin will make his second start in as many BIG EAST series, being opposed by St. John's Ryan Kilpatrick.
Game Notes The hits were tied at six apiece... USF improves to 6-10 against St. John's all-time and 2-2 against the Red Storm in Tampa... Tonight was the 52nd start of Fontanez's career... Fontanez is now tied with John Gorham for fourth on the USF career strikeout list with 288 strikeouts and tied for 10th with Jerry Cornellas with 22 career wins... Fontanez is 0.1 inning shy of tying Gorham for fifth on the career innings list with 370.2 innings pitched... Quackenbush is tied with Don Nestor with 20 career saves... With 216 games played, Jonathan Koscso moves into 10th on the career games played list... Brazeal picked up his team leading 29th RBI... Andrew Longley made his 33rd straight start behind the plate for the Bulls.