Pitchers prevail

Pitchers shined, but the sun did not as USF baseball got rained out Sunday in Charlotte. Despite the cancellation, the Bulls left with two conference wins under their belt.

The Bulls won Friday’s game 4-2 with the help of Jon Uhl, who threw seven strikeouts in seven innings while allowing only two runs on four hits.

The starting pitching got better in Saturday’s 5-4 win, when Travis Rios threw eight strikeouts in five innings, allowing one run on three hits.

“He was pretty good,” Cardieri said. “He did a good job, considering it was his first start in a while.”

Out of seven games played during spring break, the Bulls went 5-2, putting their record at 13-6 overall and 2-0 in Conference USA.

USF baseball was on the other side of a sweep when the No. 17 Hurricanes beat them two in a row Tuesday and Wednesday in Coral Gables.

“We played them close, but there is no such thing as a moral victory for this team,” USF coach Eddie Cardieri said. “They expected to win, and we lost two close ballgames. We just didn’t hit.” USF fell to a home run by Ryan Braun in the 12th inning Tuesday, losing to the ‘Canes 3-2.

Wednesday’s game wasn’t any better for the Bulls, who lost 6-4 after leaving a total of 12 runners on base while outhitting the ‘Canes 11-8.

The score was 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh, and it was enough of a lead for the ‘Canes to keep.

A slew of pitchers made it to the mound on Wednesday. Five in all combined to allow six runs off of eight hits with five strikeouts.

“You can’t use anybody a whole lot or you’ll burn them for the weekend,” Cardieri said.

USF baseball kept the Siena Saints in a losing slump after sweeping a three-game series March 7-9. Pitching was a key factor in all three wins. The staff did not allow more than five runs in any of the games.

“The pitching was very good,” Cardieri said. “It was very good because we made some errors defensively, and the pitchers really broke their necks and did a good job.”

Austen was the starting pitcher Friday, pitching five innings, striking out seven batters, and allowing two runs off two hits in the Bulls 12-2 win against the Saints.

Uhl started Saturday, pitching 7 1/3 innings before Joey Livingston came in to back him up. Together, the pitchers combined to surrender five runs off eight hits in a 10-5 USF victory.

Sunday’s game saw six pitchers, as the Bulls won the game 10-4. The staff allowed four runs off of 11 hits.

Jeff Baisley had 10 at-bats, getting on base four times, scoring five runs and driving in six more.

Baisley’s best day came Sunday, when he had three hits in four plate appearances, scoring three runs and knocking home three RBI.

Chris Wagenheim covers USF baseball and can be reached at oraclesports@yahoo.com