USF coach Lelo Prado put this loss on him.
After holding Villanova to only two runs over the first two games, the USF pitching staff allowed 10 runs and 13 hits in a 10-7 loss in the third, falling short of a series sweep at Red McEwen Field on Sunday.
Senior left-hander Teddy Kaufman returned to the rotation after being sidelined with tightness in his forearm. He struggled, giving up four runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings before being pulled.
“Teddy was not ready. I mean, we as coaches have to see that. He should have never pitched,” Prado said after the loss. “Give the kid ‘props,’ he wants to be out there. He’s a senior and he’ll give you everything he has.”
The bullpen didn’t do much better, allowing six earned runs on 10 in 7 1/3 innings. Villanova scored four runs over the first two innings, two in the fourth, three in the fifth and one more in the ninth. The leadoff hitter for the Wildcats reached base in six innings.
“We just started out with bad karma. We had a bad ‘mojo,’ and it continued throughout the game,” Prado said. “When you’re fighting the whole time, every at-bat is huge.”
The offense was solid throughout the weekend, totaling 19 runs on 35 hits.
Junior Randy Fontanez started the series with a complete-game shutout in a 5-0 win. It was his third complete game of the season and his second shutout. He struck out five and walked one, surrendering only four hits.
“They were hitting everything right at people, so it just kind of worked out for me,” Fontanez said after the win.
Sophomore catcher Daniel Rockhold crushed a two-run homer in the second inning to provide Fontanez with runs, which hasn’t come often for him this season.
“Randy hasn’t really gotten a lot of run-support the whole year, so it was good to get out to a quick start,” said Rockhold, who went 4-for-14 in the series. “Every time Randy goes out there, he’s going to compete. People want to win for him.”
Junior Andrew Barbosa recorded his fifth win of the season Saturday, striking out 10 and walking one in seven innings. He allowed two runs in a 7-2 win. He has struck out a team-leading 81 batters this season, while only yielding 18 walks.