TAMPA, Fla. (March 13, 2007) – After scoring three runs in the first inning, the University of South Florida baseball team held off Miami (Ohio) Tuesday night to beat the RedHawks 6-5 at Red McEwen Field.
The Bulls again jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but the RedHawks knotted the score after tallying one run in both the fourth and fifth and a pair in the sixth. USF regained the lead in the seventh to win their 13th game of the 2007 season.
Junior shortstop Walter Diaz was 3-for-4 at the plate with one walk, one run scored and two stolen bases.
Senior right handed pitcher Yuri Higgins picked up his second win of the season, throwing 2.1 innings, striking out four of his 10 batters faced. Freshman Shawn Sanford was credited with his third save of the season, facing three batters in the ninth.
In the first, sophomore Mike Consolmagno drew a walk, then Diaz had a base hit up the middle in time for junior Ty Taborelli to single through the right side and earn two RBI. Taborelli moved into scoring position following a sac bunt from sophomore Addison Maruszak, then scored as junior Brandin Daniel singled up the middle, earning his 27th RBI of the year.
Consolmagno led off the third inning in the same way as he started the game, drawing a walk, then advanced to third on a wild pitch and a RedHawk error. Diaz then singled through the left side to score Consolmagno, and give USF the 4-0 lead.
Over the next three innings, Miami scored four runs to tie the game, 4-4, in the top of the sixth.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Bulls regained the lead after sophomore catcher Braulio Pardo singled through the left side and advanced to second on a sac bunt from Consolmagno. Back-to-back walks from Diaz and Taborelli led to a fielder’s choice on Maruszak, who picked up his 16th RBI of the season on the play.
Higgins struck out four batters in 2.1 innings, including two Ks in the eighth.
USF added one more run in the eighth as Butler reached on a RedHawk error, and Cardieri drew a walk, then junior Joey Angelberger put down a sac bunt to move the runners over. Pardo was intentionally walked to load the bases, then pinch hitter Charles Cleveland brought Butler in to score from a fielder’s choice to the Miami third baseman.
The RedHawks threatened at USF’s two-run lead in the top of the ninth, scoring one run, but freshman right hander Shawn Sanford came into the game and forced three players to ground out, ending the game 6-5.
Both teams tallied eight hits and Miami recorded two errors.
USF scored in the first inning for the sixth-straight game, dating back to the second Central Michigan game on March 4.
USF opens their BIG EAST Conference schedule this weekend when Pittsburgh comes to Red McEwen. The Bulls and Panthers meet Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m., then at noon on Sunday, March 18.