Senior pitcher Teddy Kaufman couldn’t have written a better script.
Kaufman struck out a career-high 14 batters and allowed only four hits in a complete-game shutout, as the Bulls beat their in-state rival UCF 4-0 on Tuesday night.
“They were swinging a lot,” Kaufman said. “They were chasing a lot of my curve balls and sliders.”
The Bulls knocked in two runs early to provide Kaufman, who threw 130 pitches, with some run support.
Outfielder Stephen Hunt scored on a sacrifice fly from sophomore Daniel Rockhold in the second inning, then first baseman Todd Brazeal crushed a solo shot to deep center in the third, giving the Bulls an early 2-0 lead. Rockhold added a solo homer in the seventh to increase the lead to three runs.
“We just played a solid game. Our team played together,” said coach Lelo Prado. “They were focused, and the results were there.”
USF went without any errors on defense for the second straight game and played arguably their best game of the season behind Kaufman.
“I guess when everybody’s got confidence, good things happen,” Kaufman said.
What made the night even more special for Kaufman was the fact that it was his dad’s birthday. His dad traveled from Miami to watch him pitch.
“That was the best present I think I could give him. It was awesome,” he said.
Kaufman is now 2-1 on the season with a 3.27 ERA.
USF will play their next seven games at home, starting with Mercer on Friday night. After a solid road outing against the Knights, the Bulls will look to keep their momentum going.
“This is the way I expect our team to play all year long,” Prado said.