Three in a row

USF 4, Bethune-Cookman 8

The South Florida baseball team (3-5) traveled to Daytona Beach on Wednesday to play Bethune-Cookman (5-3), where it was anything but a vacation for the Bulls, who lost 8-4. The loss extended the Bulls’ losing streak to three games and showed USF why the Wildcats reign as the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference champions – solid hitting and starting pitching.

BCU showcased those skills early in the game, batting in three runs to USF’s one before the fourth inning at Jackie Robinson Ball Park. The Wildcats rallied for five runs in the fourth inning, and the Bulls never recovered from the deficit.

Emmanuel Castro, BCU freshman infielder, ignited the rally with a lead-off home run that bounced off the scoreboard in left field to start the inning. USF coach Lelo Prado then made a pitching change, substituting one freshman for another – Juan Carlin for Derrick Stultz.

Carlin’s relief appearance started against junior catcher Drew Clark, who hit a double that bounced off the top of the wall, almost another home run. After an out, the Wildcats strung together four straight hits that extended the lead to 8-1.

The Bulls brought in another freshman pitcher – Doug Wagner – in the fifth inning to try to slow down the Wildcat’s bats, and he did. He pitched 2.1 innings, allowing zero runs.

BCU freshman pitcher Samuel Rodriguez started the game and pitched for five innings, allowing one run and five hits. He got the win and Stultz, who pitched three innings and had four strikeouts while giving up four hits, got the loss. He now has a 1-2 record this season.

The Bulls made a late run after Rodriguez left the game, scoring runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, but the lead was too much.

The Bulls still lead the series between them and the Wildcats 46-10.

USF faces Savannah State (5-2) for the first time Friday. The teams play a three-game series that will span the entire weekend.