USF sweeps Penn State, honors team captain

On February 24, 2014

 

Honorary team captain Nick Wolf and his brother Scott fought off pirates Sunday as the Bulls fought off Penn State to complete the sweep of the Nittany Lions with a
6-5 victory.

The Bulls adopted 9-year-old Nick, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011, through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation in August.

The Wolf Pirates, as they were called, donned white blouses, colorful beads and swords at their sides, as they took over the stadium to embark on a treasure hunt.

The stadium would go on to feature the Wolf Pirates several more times throughout the game, saving a damsel in distress, taking over the press box and singing “A Pirate’s Life for Me” in the seventh inning stretch.

“They wanted to win it for Nick and the family,” USF coach Lelo Prado said. “It was just a great atmosphere.”

The win made for a 7-0 start for the Bulls — the first time since 1982.

Much like the brothers’ sword fight with Rocky The Bull, the game itself was back-and-forth.

The Bulls scored a run in the first, but the Nittany Lions (2-4) answered back with three runs in the second.

USF pitcher Brandon Lawson (1-0) struggled that inning but calmed down to pitch three scoreless innings thereafter.

“After that second inning, I found my rhythm,” Lawson said. “I was trying to put my team in a spot to win.”

Lawson received a no-decision as the Nittany Lions led 4-3 when he was retired after six innings. Michael Farley, who allowed one hit in 1 1/3 innings, earned the win, and Janick Serrallonga, the save.

Offensively, Austin Lueck propelled USF in the comeback win, going 4-for-4 with a run, a double and an RBI.

USF had to come from behind in Saturday’s game, marking the first time the Bulls didn’t score first this season. They erased a five-run deficit with a five-run third inning.

After Penn State’s T.J. Jann walked two batters with two outs in the third, a pair of costly errors scored Luke Maglich, Nik Alfonso and Kyle Teaf. The next player to bat, Luke Borders, homered to right field, scoring Daniel Portales, who along with Michael Arencibia, went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

USF pitcher Casey Mulholland, who went 3 2/3 innings his last outing, lasted just three innings before Joe Adel relieved for three shutout innings.

Behind Adel, who earned the win, the Bulls scored another six unanswered runs, ultimately winning 11-7.

The Bulls’ offense produced in clutch situations Saturday, and also produced in Friday’s 19-1 victory.

USF blew open the home opener with a four-run first inning and scored in three consecutive innings thereafter.

Vincent Miniet collected his first collegiate hit in the third with a two-out, two-run blast to left field, scoring Levi Borders. Alfonso reached on a Penn State fielding error, which allowed Teaf and Arencibia to score.

Two batters and another error later, Portales plated Alfonso with a single to left.

Penn State errors contributed to the abundance of runs, as the Lions committed six total.

Jimmy Herget pitched five shutout innings before Justin Patrick and Cody Hernandez pitched two relief innings apiece.

The Bulls play Wednesday night at Stetson, with first pitch scheduled for 6:30.

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