A little rain Sunday did not stop senior David Austen from pitching the Bulls to a 6-1 victory against the Jacksonville Dolphins. Austen’s 7 2/3 innings yielded only one run and two hits for the Dolphins, who fell to 1-3 for the season.
“I had everything today,” said Austen. “I had all my pitches working today — first pitch strikes were curve — fastball, change. I had everything.”
On his way to allowing only one earned run as he faced 28 batters, Austen threw eight strikeouts, a career high for the right-hander.
Austen’s previous strikeout record, which he tied in the first game of the season, was six.
“Eight strikeouts by David Austen was a masterpiece, a gem. That was an artist at work. He was just out there doing his thing and doing it masterfully. I mean that was beautiful,” USF coach Eddie Cardieri said.
When Austen was pulled after two outs in the eighth inning, junior Tim Mattison came in.
Mattison faced six batters, allowed two hits and had one strikeout to finish out the game.
Two of the Bulls’ runs came in the form of home runs.
Senior Ronnie Handley picked up the first homer of the day, hitting it out of the park with no one on base in the bottom of the fourth.
Handley had two hits on the day.
The other home run came in the bottom of the fifth off the bat of sophomore Bryan Hierlmeier, who had a solid day, scoring two runs.
Myron Leslie led the team with three RBI. Leslie also picked up the only Bulls’ error.
Sophomore jeff Baisley had a good game Saturday with three hits, a run and an RBI in five at-bats. On Sunday, Baisley went hitless in five at-bats.
“(Sunday) was a cleaner game — (Sunday) was a really good game of baseball. Yesterday wasn’t a good game of baseball. but it wasn’t a bad game of baseball. It was just al right,” said Cardieri.
Leslie also had a good outing Saturday, snagging an RBI, three hits and a run. Pitching went a little deeper on Saturday.
The game saw four different pitchers, but the star of the staff was John Uhl, who played five innings and threw seven strikeouts though he gave up four unearned runs.
The Bulls look to sweep the series when they travel to Jacksonville on Tuesday.
Junior Travis Rios is scheduled to start as pitcher when USF meets the Dolphins. After winning two games at home and dropping only one on the road, the Bulls are 3-1 this season.
“We’re off to a good start. It looked a little shaky after our first weekend, but we’re putting everything together and we got it going now,” said Austen.
Chris Wagenheim covers baseball and can be reached at email@example.com