The USF baseball team fell one game shy of tying the longest winning streak in program history at 20 consecutive wins Wednesday night in Fort Myers, as the No. 21 Bulls fell 2-1 to No. 12 FGCU.
Bulls coach Mark Kingston opted to save usual Sunday starter Peter Strzelecki for this mid-week contest, and the junior held the Eagles to two runs on six hits over six innings.
Sophomore Joe Genord tied the game at one with a two-out RBI single in the top of the sixth, but the Eagles promptly answered back in the bottom half of the inning with a solo homer from catcher Spencer Levine.
The Bulls put two runners on in the following two innings, but couldn’t capitalize. USF outhit FGCU 10 to 7 in the loss, leaving eight runners on base.
USF (20-2) will look to begin a new winning streak when it hosts Florida A&M (14-7) for a three game series, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the USF Baseball Stadium.
Softball mercy ruled by No. 2 Florida
USF softball fell behind early against the No. 2 Gators and couldn’t keep the game in reach, losing 8-0 in five innings Wednesday night in Gainesville.
Florida pitcher Aleshia Ocasio held the Bulls to two hits in the shutout, striking out four. While the Bulls struggled with hitting off Ocasio all evening, their pitching had trouble getting batters out.
Each of the four pitchers USF coach Ken Eriksen used allowed runs to score, with two failing to make it through one inning of work.
USF (20-15) returns home Friday for a three game series against Tulsa as the Bulls begin conference play at the USF Softball Stadium.
Malik Fitts announces decision to transfer
Now the third player on roster to announce he won’t be returning next season, freshman forward Malik Fitts told Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times he has requested his release from the school.
Fitts played 27 of the Bulls’ 30 games, and he began to earn more time over the course of the season, eventually cracking the starting lineup for 18 games.
In his 24 minutes per night on the court, Fitts averaged 7.4 points and 4.6 rebounds.
He joins former Bulls Geno Thorpe and Luis Santos on the growing list of players who have already played their last game at the Sun Dome as a Bull.