TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2007) – The University of South Florida baseball team allowed seven runs in the top of the ninth to lose 10-5 to Florida Tuesday night at Red McEwen Field.
The Bulls drop to 9-2 overall while the Gators are now 6-6 in 2007.
USF opened the scoring in the game, notching two runs off of two hits in the bottom of the third. Junior Joey Angelberger doubled to center field and scored after sophomore Braulio Pardo reached on a Gator throwing error and a wild pitch to junior Walter Diaz. Diaz earned the RBI as Pardo crossed the plate for USF’s second run of the game.
Florida cut the lead in half in the fourth, but the Bulls answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. Sophomore Addison Maruszak notched his 14th hit of the season and scored as junior Charles Cleveland and Angelberger each slugged base hits up the middle. Angelberger recorded the RBI in the inning.
In the fifth, Pardo doubled down the right filed line and scored the Bulls’ fourth run before Florida scored two more in the sixth, bringing the score 4-3 in favor of USF.
The Bulls picked up what hoped to be the final run of the game as junior Dexter Butler, Maruszak and Cleveland each had base hits in the eighth, scoring Butler along the way.
With BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week Danny Otero on the mound, USF looked to close out the game, but the Gators had another finale in mind, scoring seven runs from five hits and one USF error, taking the 10-5 lead in the ninth.
As a heavy fog rolled across Red McEwen Field in the bottom of the ninth, junior Josh LeRoy singled to right field to keep the hopes of the 2,426 USF fans in attendance alive.
Diaz followed LeRoy’s shot with a base hit of his own, and both players moved into scoring position after Butler grounded out to third base. Junior Ty Taborelli drew the walk to load the bases with two outs, and the Bulls trailing by five runs.
Maruszak, who stepped to the plate 2-for-4 on the night, battled to a full count, but watched as the final Gator pitch hit the glove for a called strike and the 10-5 Florida win.
Four Bulls notched two hits apiece (Butler, Maruszak, Cleveland and Angelberger) while Pardo scored two runs for USF.
USF starter Matt Quevedo pitched 5.1 innings, striking out three and allowing three hits.
Otero (3-1) chalked up his first loss of the season in 1.2 innings pitched. Junior Davis Bilardello, freshman Shawn Sanford and senior Yuri Higgins each pitched for less than two innings, collectively facing 10 batters.
USF next welcomes Central Michigan to Red McEwen Field March 2-4. The Bulls and Chippewas meet at 6 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, then at Noon on Sunday.