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Baseball suffers first loss of the season

The Bulls are perfect no more.

The USF baseball team, after starting the season 6-0, lost to Stetson 9-4 in DeLand on Tuesday night.

After USF scored a run in the top of the first, Stetson answered with five in the second inning to blow the game open. USF never seriously threatened after that.Junior James Rowe started for USF, lasting only two innings and giving up five earned runs on five hits, all of which were in the second inning.

“We just didn’t pitch good out there,” coach Lelo Prado said. “They got some cheap hits to get on base, got some runs, and that just opened up the flood gates.”

After retiring the first batter of the inning, Rowe gave up four straight hits: two singles followed by two doubles that resulted in four runs. After getting a batter to ground out, Rowe allowed an RBI single and was then pulled from the game.

“James Rowe just wasn’t effective enough for us tonight,” Prado said. “They just kept adding on runs later on in the game, and for us, it was just one of those nights – but we have to compete on the mound.”

The Bulls didn’t get anything going offensively until late in the game, picking up a run in both the eighth and ninth innings.

In the ninth, down 9-4, USF had the bases loaded with two outs, but Charles Cleveland struck out looking to end the threat and the game.

Justin Dechert started for Stetson and went 5 1/3 innings, striking out three and allowing just one run on six hits.

USF third baseman Addison Maruszak was one bright spot for the Bulls, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Walter Diaz went 3-for-5. Aside from that, the Bulls struggled with their bats most of the night. In the fifth inning, the Bulls advanced a runner to third with two outs. Dexter Butler, however, popped out, and USF failed to score.

Prado said they will continue to shake up mid-week starting pitchers.

“No doubt we’ll be throwing guys out there to who’s doing what and who’s pitching better,” he said.

This was the Bulls 143rd all time meeting against the Hatters, with Stetson now leading the series 73-70. Prado says, despite losing his first game of the season, they just didn’t get the job done.

“We didn’t get guys in from scoring postion and (Stetson) did,” Prado said. “It was just one of those nights where we hit hard and didn’t get guys in when they were in scoring position, but we’ll bounce back.”