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Bulls blank Stetson

The USF baseball team was efficient in every aspect of its 5-0 victory over No. 22 Stetson Tuesday night, but according to Coach Lelo Prado, the win came down to one important factor:

“Pitching,” Prado said. “When you get a pitching performance like that – that was unbelievable. (Matt Quevedo) did a great job, and that’s the reason (we won).”

Against a Stetson team that featured eight players batting over .300, Quevedo allowed only three hits and no runs in nine innings. The freshman right-hander also struck out five batters in the win, improving his record to 4-2 on the season. The Bulls’ victory marked the first time that the Hatters have been shut out since 2005.

After the game, Quevdeo attributed his successful outing to a pre-game pep talk and strong defensive play by his teammates.”Before the game, I had a good motivational talk with my coach that jolted my game a little bit,” Quevedo said. “When I got out there, I just got into a little groove and the defense played stellar and that helped a lot.”

Despite retiring 18 straight batters, Quevedo had to battle through a tough situation to close out the game in the ninth inning. After walking two straight batters, Quevedo gave up his third and final hit of the game on a single by Hatter-designated hitter Aaron Crittenden, which loaded the bases. After a talk with his coach, Quevedo stayed in the game and struck out the final Stetson batter to secure his second career complete game.

While Quevedo effectively shut down the Hatters offense, the Bulls (31-22, 12-12 BIG EAST) had a successful night at the plate. USF racked up 11 hits and forced Stetson to make four pitching changes during the contest. Four Bulls’ players had multi-hit games, including junior first baseman Brandin Daniel, who put USF on the board in the second inning when he sent a solo home run over the left-field fence. The homer was Daniel’s sixth of the season and 15th of his career.

Prior to Tuesday’s win, it was announced that the Bulls had secured a spot in this year’s Big East Conference tournament.With Tuesday’s victory giving the Bulls a 2-1 edge over Stetson in the season series, the team is hopeful that a strong showing in this weekend’s final regular season series against St. John’s will allow it to extend its 2007 post-season run even further.

“We looked like a pretty good baseball team tonight,” Prado said. “For regionals, it’s huge to beat (Stetson) two out of three. If we take care of business this weekend, I think we’re sitting in a great spot for a chance at a (NCAA Regional Tournament) bid.”