By KY-SHON HEPBURN
Special to GoUSFBulls.com
TAMPA -The Bulls offense was explosive on Wednesday night.
USF (12-6, 0-0) got a victory over Illinois State, 10-5, before a crowd of 978 at USF baseball stadium.
"I just like the teams approach and attitude right now," said Prado.
The Redbirds got on the board first to take an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
The Bulls answered scoring two-runs with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. Todd Brazeal hit an RBI-double and Jimmy Falla followed with an RBI-single to give the Bulls a 2-1 lead.
"We had some great offensive approaches, and I am proud of the way our guys responded," said head coach Lelo Prado.
Illinois State batted in three more runs on a bases loaded double by Ty Wiesemeyer to give the Redbirds a 4-2 lead in the second inning.
Chad Taylor and James Ramsay both picked up an RBI in the bottom of the second inning to help the Bulls tie the game at 4.
Mike Hollenbeck kept things rolling for the Redbirds batting in Zac Johnson to give Illinois State a 5-4 lead in the third inning.
The Bulls bats came alive again in the third inning. Luis Llerena doubled with bases loaded to score Falla and Chris Norton. Alex Mendez followed with an RBI-sac fly to score Kyle Teaf and give the Bulls a 7-5 advantage in the third inning.
Starting pitcher Derrick Stutlz pitched four innings allowing five runs, five hits and three strikeouts. Kyle Parker, Adrian Puig, Nick Gonzalez and Ray Delphey pitched a combined 3.3 innings allowing two hits and no runs.
"It's pretty tough to beat our bullpen late in the game," said Prado.
Illinois State threatened in the sixth inning loading the bases with two outs, but Copack ended the threat on a tough catch to get the Bulls out of the inning with no runs scored.
USF picked up two more runs in the seventh inning. Llerena and Mendez both scored on errors by the Redbirds to extend the Bulls lead to 10-5.
The Bulls return to action at 7 p.m. on Friday for a three-game series against Lafayette at USF baseball complex.