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Up Next:
Cincinnati at USF | May 2 | 7 p.m. | Tampa, Fla.
Cincinnati at USF | May 3 | 11 a.m. | Tampa, Fla.


TAMPA –  The league-leading University of South Florida baseball team continued their winning ways Friday night beating Cincinnati 8-2.

USF improved their record to 29-16 overall and 16-3 in BIG EAST play, while Cincinnati falls to 23-20 overall and 10-9 in the BIG EAST.

The Bulls were carried by two sophomores, pitcher Randy Fontanez and right fielder Stephen Hunt.

Fontanez improved his season record to 6-3 and his BIG EAST record to 6-1 on the year. He threw nine innings, allowing six hits and two runs, while striking out seven and walking two. He threw his fifth complete game of the season, and second straight, while throwing 119 pitches.

"We were thinking about taking him out in the seventh or eighth, and he said “no way.” He is such a competitor and he does all the right things,” said Coach Lelo Prado. “He comes to pitch and works so hard. That’s why he’s so successful.”

Hunt led the Bulls with three hits and five runs batted in, three of which came off of two home runs. His two home runs came off a total of six pitches in his first two at bats. Hunt has a pair of games this season with two home runs, the other was the April 10 game at Georgetown.

"Stephen has all the tools in the world," said Prado. "He has the potential to be a great college baseball player. He has done a great job for us all year and he allowed us to relax and get the win."

The Bulls’ offense continues to be dominant in the BIG EAST, collecting their 30th double-digit hit game. Junior Carlin, Sam Mende and Peter Brotons led the attack, all collecting two hits, which propelled the Bulls’ offense to its 13th consecutive home BIG EAST win, dating back to last season.

With the Bulls’ offense firing on all cylinders, Cincinnati's starter Billy Welsh is tabbed with his first lost of the season. Welsh threw 5.1 innings and allowed 13 hits and eight runs.

Hunt connected on his first home run in the first inning, then added a pair of runs in the third with a two-run shot.

USF registered four runs in the fourth as Trey Manz, Lockwood and Hunt each tagged doubles in the inning.

Cincinnati finally got on the board in the fifth, off of a home run and back-to-back hits.

The Bulls added one more run in the sixth to secure the victory.

Fontanez retired his last 13 batters of the game to acquire his sixth BIG EAST win.

Ryan Lockwood's streak of consecutive games reaching base safely continued Friday night when he reached base on a fielder's choice and then collected a double in the fourth inning. Lockwood has now reached base in 87 consecutive games.

The Bulls stay perfect in the BIG EAST at home and look to continue with two games remaining.

"They are starting to get a little swagger and you have got to have that when you are at home,” added Prado. “This team will be ready to play against us tomorrow and Derrick has to do well like Randy did tonight. Derrick has all the ability in the world and can give us a similar performance and result."

The Bulls will face off against the Bearcats again on Saturday night, where the Bulls will honor four seniors including Chris Rey, Trey Manz, Mike Consolmagno and Brandon Smith. The final game of the series, which was previously scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday has been changed to 11 a.m.

Game Notes
Ryan Lockwood's streak of consecutive games reaching base safely continued Friday night when he reached base on a fielder's choice and then collected a double in the fourth inning. Lockwood has now reached base in 87 consecutive games.

Stephen Hunt had at least one RBI in all four of his at bats. He started with a solo homer in the first, and added a two-run shot in the third. He then had an RBI double in the fourth and ended with a ground out to second base in the sixth that plated USF’s final run.

The Bulls had at least one hit in each of the first six innings. USF had five hits in the fourth inning to lead the attack.

Stephen Hunt tagged a pair of home runs in the game, the second time this season. The other time was on April 10 at Georgetown.