The tables were turned on the USF baseball team Wednesday night as the Miami Hurricanes routed the Bulls 17-3.
Just one night earlier the Bulls got the better of the No. 6 Hurricanes in a 7-2 victory. But UM got good pitching in early and let their bats take care of the Bulls in the bottom half of a two-day twin bill.
“Last night we out-hit them, out-pitched them and we out-fielded them,” USF coach Eddie Cardieri said. “Tonight they out-hit us, they out-pitched us and they out- fielded us.”
The Hurricanes had solid pitching from J.D. Cockroft, who allowed two runs on two hits through six innings.
The Bulls’ starter didn’t fare as well. Freshman Daniel Albritton was hit for seven earned runs in four innings of work, picking up his first career loss.
“He didn’t pitch as poorly as you might think,” Cardieri said. “He got behind counts too often. You got to remember he’s a freshman going against Miami, and that’s not easy.”
The Bulls bullpen didn’t make out much better than Albritton.
Mike Yeager, the second Bull out of the pen gave up four earned runs on six hits in an inning of work.
While the Bulls were looking to beat Miami for the second consecutive game, Cardieri said he used the pitchers with an eye on their upcoming Conference USA opener against Cincinnati.
“We’re trying to pitch this game and still win our conference series this weekend,” Cardieri said.
The Bulls’ pitching didn’t get much help from its fielding at times. USF committed five errors, including three by third baseman Jeremy Brand.
“If you look at our fielding percentage, it’s not very good, and that’s a part of our game I would like to see an improvement in,” Cardieri said. “We don’t have a whole lot of options. We’re thin on our bench with Jeff Baisely out of our lineup. If a guy’s on our roster, he’s a good player, that’s how he’s on our roster. I don’t have a problem using any of our guys.”
While the Bulls can look back and feel good about splitting a series with one of the top teams in the nation, they have to use it as a building block and focus now on C-USA play.
“The conference is our vehicle to the NCAA Tournament,” Cardieri said. “It’s great that we beat Miami, I don’t want that to get lost in the shuffle. We still beat a great team, No. 6 in the country. We can beat them a hundred times, and if we don’t do well in our conference, then we’re not going to the NCAA tournament.”