Friday, April 25, 2008
TAMPA, Fla. – University of South Florida junior pitcher Daniel Thomas struck out eight Villanova Wildcats in the Bulls' 8-5 victory Friday night at Red McEwen Field.
The right hander earned his second win of the season, tossing 141 pitches in 6.1 innings. He struck out eight Wildcats and allowed two earned runs from seven hits in his ninth appearance of the year.
"Daniel is such a competitor and tonight he was on," said Lelo Prado, USF head coach. "DT tonight probably made himself a lot of money tonight because he pitched the best game he's had since I've been here."
Freshman Ryan Lockwood had three singles in the game, extending his hitting streak to 25 games, the longest hitting streak at USF since last season's 24-game stretch by Walter Diaz. Lockwood also had an RBI and scored a run against Villanova.
"Ryan Lockwood and Stephen Hunt are baseball players, and that's what it's all about," said Prado. "When you are a baseball player you come to the ballpark ready to play. Lockwood comes every day ready to play, and Hunt had a good game tonight, too."
Hunt was 2-for-4 at the plate, scoring two runs as the designated hitter.
USF took the 1-0 lead in the second, but Villanova answered with one in the top of the third to tie it up. The Bulls collected seven over the next four innings to take the 8-1 lead. VU added three in the seventh and one in the ninth, but the Bulls were able to hold off the Wildcats to get the 8-5 win
USF's first run came with one out in the second, as Hunt singled to the right side, was moved around after junior Chris Rey drew a walk, and scored on a wild pitch.
In the fourth, junior Trey Manz was hit by a pitch and stole second, then freshman Jonathan Koscso and sophomore Victor Pina drew a pair of walks to load the bases for Addison Maruszak. The junior shortstop sent a single to right field, scoring two and giving USF the 4-1 lead.
In the fifth, USF scored three as Lockwood, Hunt and Pina all had base hits, while Koscso and Maruszak drew walks and Rey was hit by a pitch.
Senior Joey Angelberger started the sixth with a double down the left line. Lockwood added a single up the middle, then Hobbs reached on a fielder's choice, which scored USF's final run of the game.
USF committed four errors in the game, the second-most this season, which allowed Villanova to score two runs.
"We have to get better defensively," Prado said. "We have to come ready tomorrow because they will be ready for us."
The Bulls and Wildcats face off again on Saturday at 7 p.m., then wrap up the series at 1 p.m. Sunday.