USF loses to No. 19 UCF
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 00:03
The USF baseball team went into Tuesday night’s game looking to avenge an embarrassing 11-run loss to rival UCF on Feb. 28.
Things didn’t quite work out, however, as the Bulls were dealt a 6-2 loss.
As a whole, the Bulls looked like they had grown steadily since the pounding they took that night in Orlando, when the Knights blew them out 12-1. Yet given their performance Tuesday, they still haven’t grown enough to go toe-to-toe with the No. 19 team in the country.
Both starting pitchers threw well for about four innings, before USF’s Jimmy Falla knocked a 2-2 pitch past the left field wall, giving the Bulls the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Falla’s solo shot proved to be one of the few offensive highlights for the Bulls in the game.
USF didn’t find another scoring opportunity until the bottom of the eighth, when three straight hits loaded the bases for the Bulls with no outs. Runs seemed imminent, but the attempted rally was cut off prematurely when, after Matt Hart flew out for a sacrifice fly, James Ramsay was caught advancing to second base on a questionable call.
USF coach Lelo Prado left the dugout to argue the game-altering decision and, after several minutes of argument, was ejected from the game for the first time this season. USF was unable to pick up another hit after Prado was tossed, going 0-for-4 to finish the game.
Derrick Stultz, USF’s starter, was on his game for 4.2 innings before his bid for a no-hitter ended when a base hit by the Knights began a string of five consecutive baserunners, including a bases-clearing double from Ronnie Richardson to give the Knights a 3-1 lead.
UCF tacked on three more runs over the sixth and seventh innings, giving them six for the game — the second consecutive game in which the Bulls defense gave up six or more runs, after a streak of seven consecutive games allowing five runs or fewer.
Prado was not available for comment after the game, as he was escorted from the stadium following his ejection.
Tuesday’s game was the final game for USF before the Bulls begin their Big East season with a three-game weekend series against Georgetown starting Friday night.