Bulls bounce back to take series from UAB

The USF baseball team continued its struggle on Friday, dropping a 6-1 decision against UAB at Red McEwen Field.

It was the Bulls’ fourth-straight conference loss and sixth overall.

USF’s ace, right hander Casey Hudspeth (6-3), took the loss, allowing five runs in six innings and striking out five.

The USF bats were unable to dissolve the Blazers’ starting pitcher, Cole Helms (2-0), who struck out eight in his seven shutout innings.

UAB (23-13,8-7 C-USA) scored two runs in the top of the second inning on RBI singles from catcher Ben McCullars and shortstop Ryan Metcalf.

Second baseman Seth Rollin put the game away with a three-run blast in the top of the sixth. Center fielder Levi Patmon added a solo home run in the eighth.

USF (22-19, 9- 5 C-USA) got its lone run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by junior Jeff Baisley.

Senior Brian Baisley went 3-for-4 and hit his conference-leading 19th double.

Sophomore reliever Nick Manganaro looked strong in the last three innings, striking out six and allowing just one run, the homer by Patmon.

The Bulls rallied to win the final two games of the series.USF took game two 11-9 on freshman Brandin Daniel’s walk-off home run. The Bulls came back from four down to get the win.

Head coach Eddie Cardieri was pleased with how his team rebounded from Friday’s loss.

“I just commend our guys for their resiliency,” Cardieri said. “To come back in the fashion we did was awesome. They just never quit. They continue to play hard and believe in themselves, and I’m proud of them for their effort.”

In the series finale Sunday, Yuri Higgins went four solid innings in his first career start with an 11-2 win.

“Higgins obviously did very well for his first start,” Cardieri said. “There’s a good chance he could stay in the rotation.”

Jeff Baisley had six RBI, including four on a second-inning grand slam, to lead the Bulls.

The win lifted the Bulls to a 2-1 series win against the Blazers.

“We just need to be a little more consistent,” Cardieri said. “We need to do it over an extended period of time. Then we will be fine.”

USF plays UCF Tuesday night at home before a C-USA series at Houston this weekend.