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USF vs. Rutgers

Game One: USF 6, Rutgers 3
Game Two: USF 15, Rutgers 7
Game Three: Usf 10, Rutgers 5

Up Next:
  vs. Stetson - March 24 - 7 p.m.


TAMPA –
The University of South Florida earned its second-consecutive BIG EAST Conference sweep with a 10-5 victory over Rutgers Sunday afternoon at Red McEwen Field.

“They really did a great job all weekend offensively. Every time Rutgers got close we gained some back. It was a great performance. We can build on this and keep the momentum going,” said head coach Lelo Prado
Added to this weekend’s three-game sweep against Rutgers, the Bulls ended the 2008 season with three wins over Notre Dame May 15-17, the Bulls’ first BIG EAST sweep in the Coach Prado era.

With today’s win, USF has now won nine of the last 11 BIG EAST home games, dating back to the series with Louisville on April 13, 2008.

With 13 hits in Sunday’s 10-5 victory, the Bulls completed the sweep of Rutgers with a total of 46 hits in the series.

“We aren’t a home run hitting club so we have to stay in the middle of the field, and these guys have done a great job this weekend,” said Prado.
Junior Matt Quevedo earned his third win of the season, striking out three and allowing only three earned runs from six hits in 5.1 innings. Junior Shawn Sanford picked up the save, his second of the year, not giving up a hit and striking out two in his 1.2-inning performance.

“Every time Quevedo has come in, in the second or third inning, he has done a good job for us. He is an upper classman and a guy that we count on. Hopefully he can continue to do that,” said Prado.

Nine Bulls had a hit in the game, led by two from senior Mike Consolmagno, sophomores Ryan Lockwood and Stephen Hunt and redshirt freshman Todd Brazeal, who had a double and three RBI.

“Bryant does a great job with these guys. He makes sure that they stay focused on what we try to teach,” said Prado

For only the seventh time this season, USF’s opponent scored in the first inning. Rutgers scored one run as Pat Biserta drove in Jayson Betteridge, who reached on a double to left field.

USF knotted the game at one in the second inning, then added five over the next two innings to take the 6-2 lead after four.

In the second, USF loaded the bases as Chris Rey drew a walk, Mike Consolmagno was hit by a pitch and Peter Brotons recorded a base hit. Ryan Lockwood picked up the RBI after drawing a walk, which extended his streak of reaching base safely to 63 consecutive games.

USF starter Matt Stull pitched 1.2 innings before leaving the game with athletic trainer Josh Herran and pitching coach Lazer Collazo. Stull allowed only one run from three hits in his fourth start of the season. 

Junior RHP Matt Quevedo finished the second inning with just one pitch, forcing Michael Lang to fly out to center field.

Sam Mende drew a walk to lead off the third inning, then with one out, Stephen Hunt and Rey each connected on base hits, giving USF the 2-1 lead.

Rutgers plated one run in the fourth on a sac fly, but the Bulls answered with four in the bottom of the frame, extending the lead to 6-2.

The Bulls opened the fourth with three consecutive base hits from Consolmagno, Brotons and Lockwood, which drove in the leadoff batter. Koscso drove home Brotons on a sac fly, then with two outs, Brazeal tagged his eighth double of the season to knock in Koscso. Brazeal later scored on a two-out base hit by Hunt.

The Rutgers offense would not go away, scoring two more in the fifth, drawing the game within two. In a similar fashion as the Bulls in the fourth, the Scarlet Knights started the inning with back-to-back base hits then scored both runs on a double by Luis Feliz.

With one out in the sixth and Lockwood on base after a fielder’s choice, Koscso sent a base hit through the left side in time for Mende to load the bases after being hit by a pitch. Brazeal sent a grounder to second base, which brought home Lockwood, putting USF ahead 7-4.

In the top of the eighth, Andrew Salgueiro came in to relieve Matt Quevedo after his 5.1 innings on the hill.

Again Rutgers kept the ballgame interesting, scoring one in the top of the eighth after a double by Jimenez, a walk issued to Vinnie Sangemino and an RBI-single by Brandon Boykin. With two runners on and one out, Shawn Sanford relieved Salgueiro, striking out Michael Lang and forcing Jaren Matthews to ground out to shortstop.

The Bulls added three insurance runs in the eighth as all nine batters stepped to the plate. Lockwood led off with a base hit then moved to second on a sac by Koscso. Back-to-back singles from Mende and Brazeal plated Lockwood, then with two outs, Junior Carlin hit a two-RBI single to left field to give USF the 10-5 advantage.

That was all Sanford and the Bulls would need as they closed out the game and the series sweep in the opening set of BIG EAST play.

USF will take on Stetson at 7 p.m. in Red McEwen Field on Tuesday March 24.



Game Notes:
USF now has three BIG EAST Conference series sweeps in three seasons in the league. The first was in 2006 against Seton Hall, in 2008 the Bulls defeated Notre Dame three-straight to end the regular season, added to the three wins over Rutgers March 20-22, 2009.

With today’s win, USF has now won nine of the last 11 BIG EAST home games, dating back to the series with Louisville on April 13, 2008.

USF has collected at least 11 hits in 13 games this season, collecting 10 wins along the way.