The USF baseball team was handed its fourth straight loss as No. 15 Wichita State scored two runs in the first inning for a 2-1 win over the Bulls in the Rainbow Baseball Tournament. USF (9-9) finished 1-4 in the round-robin event. The team’s only win came Tuesday against UC Davis 6-4, but the Bulls then lost to No. 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 4-1, Hawaii 9-0 and Sacramento State 7-4.
The Bulls nearly tied the game in the top of the ninth, but Shocker shortstop Nick McCoola made two defensive plays with one run already across and a runner on second. After pinch runner Joey Angelberger scored on a single by Bryan Hierlmeier, Nick Cardieri hit a line drive that McCoola had to jump to catch. On the next play, McCoola went deep in the gap between short and third and threw out Dexter Butler to end the game.
Wichita State ace Mike Pelfrey (3-1), who played for Team USA last summer, threw five innings, limiting the Bulls to two hits, and retired the final eight batters he faced. Hitting was a problem for USF through its five games, as the team hit a season low .187.
Freshman Daniel Thomas (4-2) started for the Bulls and was able to retire the first two batters, but hit a batter with two outs that allowed for the Shockers’ two first-inning runs.
The Bulls had a chance to match Wichita State in the top of the second, loading the bases with one out. Matt McHargue reached on a throwing error and Hierlmeier and Cardieri both singled. But Brandin Daniel struck out and then Butler grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Freshman James Rowe threw in the top of the ninth for USF, notching himself a strikeout and forcing a double play, with a throw out at third.