The Bulls lost two of three games to Memphis this past weekend, falling to 3-3 in Conference USA play. In Sunday?s game the struggling Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first, but the Bulls answered in the top of the third with a run of their own. The Tigers (5-12, 2-4 in C-USA) were able to capitalize on a three-run third inning to solidify a 6-3 win against the Bulls.
?It was a disappointing weekend,? USF coach Eddie Cardieri said. ?Especially after winning the first game easily against a good pitcher. We didn?t play well from then on.?
The Bulls (13-11) split two games with Memphis during a doubleheader Saturday. The scheduled game on Friday evening was postponed due to cold weather. In the first game, the Bulls were led to a 13-2 victory by solo home runs from Mike Barclay, Myron Leslie and Brian Hierlmeier. Mike Cunningham also added two RBI, going 2-for-3 with a double and his second triple of the season.
?In the first game (Cunningham) played like a champ,? Cardieri said. ?It?s just consistency. It?s bringing good at-bats each time.?
In his 40th start as a Bull, senior right-hander John Gorham went seven innings, giving up six hits and striking out eight en route to his third victory of the season.
?He?s a winner, a real warrior,? Cardieri said. ?He knows how to use the stuff he has. He?s just a great competitor.?
In the second game, the Tigers picked up their fourth win of the season and their first in C-USA play. The Tigers were pushed comfortably ahead by a six-run sixth inning, winning the game 11-5. The win broke an eight-game losing streak for Memphis. Jason Bartz took the loss for the Bulls, making him 1-3 on the season. The Bulls were unable to capitalize on the 10 base runners they left stranded during the game. All eight walked Tiger batters and three hit batters crossed the plate, as mistakes from the Bulls? pitching afforded the Tigers numerous opportunities.
?The story was that every walk and hit batter scored,? Cardieri said. ?We just walked way too many guys. At one point they had eight runs on five hits. It wasn?t like they were hitting us, it was just that we didn?t do a good job throwing strikes.?
In all, six USF pitchers took the mound in the second game.
The Bulls will face Army tonight at Red McEwen Field at 7 p.m. This will be the first game of an eight-game home stand for South Florida.
?I understand that Army has all their everyday starters coming back,? Cardieri said. ?Their No. 1 pitcher is back, so I know they will be a safe test for us.?
- <liJarrett Guthrie covers baseball and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org