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USF vs. Pitt
Game One: W, 8-1
Game Two: W, 13-5
Game Three: W, 10-8

Up Next:
April 7-8 at Jacksonville


TAMPA –The University of South Florida baseball team got a two-out, two-run home run from sophomore Jonathan Koscso in the bottom of the 10th inning Sunday to beat Pittsburgh 10-8.

"He was right on the ball all day," said a hoarse Coach Lelo Prado. "I knew that if they got the ball in on him, then he had a chance to let it fly, especially with the wind blowing out like it was. He did a good job. Jonny is just clutch. We call him “The Business Man” for a reason, and he came through again today."

The win gave USF the three-game sweep, the second of the season for the Bulls. Their first came March 20-22 against Rutgers. USF is now 9-0 in their last nine BIG EAST home games, dating back to the Notre Dame series in 2008.

"I think we won because of the intensity that we had in the dugout," said Prado. "They came in after that five-run inning and everyone was saying that we weren’t going to lose this game. We had big hits, and we are just so proud of our guys for how they showed up this weekend."

The Bulls got a two-run home run by Koscso with Peter Brotons on first base with two outs to improve to 7-2 in BIG EAST play and 19-10 overall.

The Bulls were leading 6-3 heading into the top of the ninth, but Pitt accounted for five runs on four hits including three doubles to take the 8-6 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, after Mike Consolmagno was hit by a pitch, the Bulls got a two-out, two-run home run from Trey Manz to force the game to extra innings. Manz' shot bounced off the top of the wall in center field, 400 feet from home plate.

Sophomore RHP Derrick Stultz started the game for the Bulls, pitching six innings and allowing three earned runs on just four hits while striking out four.

Pittsburgh starter David Kaye went 6.1 innings allowing five earned runs on eight hits while striking out five.

Sophomore Junior Carlin accounted for four hits in five at-bats including two doubles. The Bulls also got three hits from Jonathan Koscso (3-6, three RBI) including the walk-off homer. Manz also collected three hits and was 3-5 from the plate with a two home runs and four RBI, including a game-saving round-tripper.

"It was a tremendous team effort all weekend, and that is the reason that we are 3-0," Prado said.

Lockwood’s two hits helped him extend his steak to 72 of games in which he has reached base safely.

Pittsburgh got on the board first in the top of the second inning on a two-run home run by Kevin Smith after a single put Matt Litzinger aboard.

The Bulls were able to respond in the bottom half of the inning as Junior Carlin doubled and advanced to third on a passed ball. He then scored on a Peter Brotons sacrifice fly.

Pitt got a leadoff double from Schultz in the third and he advanced to third on a passed ball. Leonard grounded to second base, but that would bring in Schultz to make the score 3-1.

Both teams were held scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning when Trey Manz continued his hot streak with a solo home run to left field cutting the lead to 3-2.

Shawn Sanford came in to replace Stultz in the top of the seventh for a perfect 1-2-3 inning. In the bottom half of the inning, the Bulls exploded for four runs on three hits. Carlin started things off by doubling to left-center. Lockwood walked and Koscso singled to score Carlin from second. 

The Panthers then intentionally walked Hunt to load the bases, and that brought up Brazeal who was hit by a pitch and gave USF their first lead of the game. The Bulls got some insurance when Chris Rey reached on a fielder’s choice to score Koscso, and Manz singled to bring in Hunt and give the Bulls the 6-3 lead.

Sanford pitched nearly a perfect seventh and eighth, allowing only one base runner. He allowed three runs in the ninth, so sophomore Kevin Quackenbush came in for relief with two outs and two runners on base. He gave up two runs from three hits to give Pitt the 8-6 lead.

With two outs in the ninth, Consolmagno was hit with a pitch, which brought up Manz, who sent a clutch homer to center and sent the game to extras.

"I thought he hit it pretty good," said Prado. "I knew the wind was blowing that way, so I knew it had a chance. He is a strong kid, and when he stays inside the ball and does those kinds of things, he can drive the ball. He has had two great days, and hopefully he builds on that." 

Quackenbush remained on the hill in the 10th and shut down the Panthers to give the Bulls an opportunity to win in the bottom half of the inning.

The Bulls would not squander the opportunity.

Carlin led off the inning with a single but was retired on a fielder’s choice bunt by Brotons. With two outs, Koscso came up and ripped a four-bagger which caused the USF bench to spill onto the field in excitement. The walkoff win gave USF the sweep and their ninth home BIG EAST win in a row.

After the game, while being interviewed by the campus newspaper, Koscso got a pie to the face for his clutch home run thanks, in part, to teammates Brandon Smith and Stephen Hunt.

Kevin Quackenbush earned his first win of the season, while Leonard was tagged with the loss, also his first of the season.

Game Notes:

The Bulls have won nine straight BIG EAST games at Red McEwen Field dating back to the 2008 season, when they swept Notre Dame. The Bulls have opened up the 2009 season with home sweeps of Rutgers and Pittsburgh.

The Bulls collected six home runs over the final two games of the Pittsburgh series. The Bulls had back-to-back games with at least three home runs. The last time USF collected six homers over a two game span was in 2006 when six different players each hit a home run. They hit one on April 22,2006 and five on April 23, 2006.

Ryan Lockwood collected two hits on Sunday to extend streak of reaching base safely to 72 consecutive games. Lockwood has reached base safely in all but two games in his two-season career at USF.

Trey Manz collected two home runs against Pittsburgh including a round-tripper that sent the game to extra innings. Manz’ two homers came just a day after Todd Brazeal’s two home run performance.

Junior Carlin collected four hits on Sunday against Pitt. The performance marks the third time this year that he has recorded at least four hits in a game. The other two came in back-to-back games when he accounted for five hits against Towson (3/1) and four against Marshall (3/6).