TAMPA, Fla. (March 27, 2007) – Senior Yuri Higgins earned his fourth win of the season as the University of South Florida defeated Florida A&M, 9-6, Tuesday night at Red McEwen Field.
Higgins tallied seven strikeouts and allowed four runs in seven innings, then freshman Daryl Lewis came in to close the game, facing 10 batters in two innings.
Junior Walter Diaz was 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI while junior Dexter Butler was 1-for-3 with three RBI. Both Diaz and Butler extended their hitting streaks to nine and 10 games, respectfully.
After FAMU took the 3-0 lead in the second, but USF scored seven over the next three innings to take a 7-3 lead in the fourth.
In the bottom of the second, sophomore Addison Maruszak and senior Nick Cardieri both drew walks, then junior Joey Angelberger moved the runners into scoring position with a bunt. A sac fly by junior Josh LeRoy scored USF's first run of the game.
Later in the inning, sophomore Braulio Pardo drew a walk and Diaz was hit by a pitch, then Butler singled to right center, notching two RBI on the play.
In the third, USF took the two-run lead after Maruszak singled through the left side and was driven in on a sacrifice fly to left field by LeRoy.
Senior Ty Taborelli opened the two-run fourth inning with a single up the middle, then junior Brandin Daniel drew a walk and Maruszak was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Cardieri. The senior from Tampa singled to the right side, tallying two RBI and giving USF the four-run lead.
After two scoreless innings, FAMU scored one in the seventh, but the Bulls answered with one of their own in the bottom half of the frame. Sophomore Mike Consolmagno pinch ran for Cardieri, who reached on a throwing error by the Rattlers. Consolmagno stole second base, was moved to third on a grounder by Angelberger and scored on a wild pitch.
Diaz doubled through the right side and scored on a sac fly from Butler to score USF's only run of the eighth inning.
FAMU scored two runs in the ninth, but USF held off the Rattlers to win their 19th game of the year, 9-6.
After the two games with the Rattlers, USF will travel to Storrs, Conn., to play the Connecticut Huskies the weekend of March 30 - April 1. The trip will be the Bulls’ second-consecutive BIG EAST Conference series on the road after playing 21 home games to start the season.