USF shows no mercy versus 49ers

USF 18, UNC-C 8

In Charlotte, the USF baseball team dominated the Charlotte 49ers 18-8 on Sunday en route to a three-game sweep in the conference opening series for both teams.

The game was called after seven innings due to the mercy rule. It was the Bulls’ first three-game Conference USA sweep since 2003 against St. Louis.

The Bulls (15-11, 3-0 C-USA) started their scoring onslaught in the top of the second off Charlotte starter Spence Steedley. Freshman Brad Karns and seniors Bryan Hierlmeier and Jeremy Brand all homered in the inning. It was Hierlmeier’s fifth home run in six games.

USF scored seven runs in the inning to overcome the three-run lead the 49ers (13-7, 0-3 C-USA) built in the first off Bulls’ emergency starter Ty Pryor. Pryor, a freshman, was forced to start when sophomores Nick Manganaro (shoulder) and Chase Lirette (groin) were unable to.

Starting first baseman Matt McHargue (cyst) and starting second baseman Nick Cardieri (hamstring) also did not play. Backup first baseman Brandin Daniel (foot) also sat out and was replaced by regular starting catcher Brian Baisely. Karns replaced Baisely behind the plate.

Pryor (2-1) allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings and struck out six to get the win.Senior Jeff Baisley and junior Brian Baisley also homered for the Bulls.

Freshman relief pitcher Davis Billardello threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings before the game was called.

On Friday, the Bulls defeated the 49ers 7-4, and on Saturday, they squeaked out a 6-5 win.

USF returns home to play Kent State at Red McEwen Field on Tuesday.