The USF baseball team traveled outside of Florida for the first time in the 2004 season and brought back a losing streak, dropping three straight to No. 17 East Carolina, which increased its winning streak to nine games.
The Bulls entered the weekend ahead of the Pirates and in a tie for the lead in Conference USA, but the losses move USF (23-11, 7-5) to a tie for fifth, and East Carolina (28-6, 9-3) now sits in second, a half game behind Southern Miss.
Each of the Bulls’ top three pitchers earned a loss as USF dropped both games of a doubleheader Saturday 10-5 and 11-1 (7 innings), and the series opener Friday 6-4.
“We got out-pitched,” USF coach Eddie Cardieri said. “It seemed like we got out-played, there’s no doubt about it.”
Bulls ace Kyle Schmidt (6-2) had won six straight games before the loss Friday. He allowed six runs on six hits in five innings in what was his first loss since Feb. 27 against Oklahoma State.
Casey Hudspeth (5-2), the No. 2 pitcher in USF’s rotation, had gone six games without a loss until he allowed seven runs on 11 hits in a loss in the first game of the doubleheader.
Chase Lirette was added to the weekend rotation last week after he made the most of his mid-week starts, but the freshman (4-1) was charged with his first loss of the season after he allowed six runs in the first inning of the second game Saturday, including two Pirate home runs in the inning.
The closest the Bulls came to a win was Friday. USF trailed 6-2, but the Bulls scored two in the top of the ninth to cut the deficit in half when third baseman Jeff Baisley hit a one-out single, bringing home Myron Leslie and Devin Ivany. Tim Orlosky pinch ran for Jeff Baisley, who is still recovering from a broken foot, and Brian Baisley came to the plate representing the tying run. But Brian Baisley struck out and Matt McHargue followed suit to end the game.
Ivany and Brian Baisley both homered in Friday’s game. Leslie and Jeff Baisley both hit home runs in the first of the two games on Saturday.
“Sometimes you have a bad weekend during a long conference season, and, too bad, it was this one for us,” Cardieri said. “We just have to see how we bounce back from it.”