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Washed out

The USF baseball team settled for a split against UAB when the rubber game of its three-game set was rained out Sunday.

It was USF’s fourth rainout of the season.

“You’d like to have the rubber game played, but you can’t control Mother Nature,” USF coach Eddie Cardieri said. “It’s just one of those things – there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Although USF (15-8, 3-1 in Conference USA) gained a split with the Blazers, the Bulls struggled this weekend on the offensive end, managing 15 hits in the two games.

“Ever since Miami, we haven’t hit like we can hit, like we hit early in the year,” Cardieri said. “Thank God we’ve been getting real good pitching and playing pretty good defense during that stretch.”

It took USF 8 1/2 innings to find its stroke Friday against UAB, but the Bulls got the hits when they needed them and put up five runs in the bottom of the ninth to pull out a 6-3 victory.

Four of the Bulls’ hits came in the ninth, capped by Mike Choquette’s walk-off three-run home run, his first of the season.

Through the first eight innings, USF managed four hits, two coming on a pair of doubles by sophomore third baseman Jeff Baisley.

However, Travis Rios kept USF in the game, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out 10 in six innings. Reliever Tim Mattison pitched the last three innings, allowing one run on three hits to earn his first victory of the season.

USF dropped Saturday’s game to the Blazers 6-5, collecting seven hits in the game.

Consecutive doubles by Allen Shirley and Ronnie Handley — who combined for four of the seven hits — in the eighth pulled USF within one. Pinch runner Jeremy Bellotti (running for Handley) reached third on a wild pitch with one out, but the Bulls couldn’t punch him in, and the Blazers held on for the victory.

The Bulls stay home tonight to face Northwestern at 7, a game added to the schedule to supplement for a rainout.