Stetson ends USF’s win streak

It was a night USF coach Lelo Prado would like to forget.

“It was terrible,” Prado said. “It was bad from the very beginning. I knew we were in trouble. Every guy in that locker room should be disappointed.”

The Bulls’ six-game win streak came to halt Tuesday night in a 4-3 loss to Stetson filled with defensive miscues and squandered opportunities.

With the Bulls (13-8, 3-0) leading Stetson 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, three consecutive bunt singles by Mike Consolmagno, Peter Brotons and Ryan Lockwood loaded the bases. 

Stetson reliever Jake Hitchcock retired the next three batters, however, to get out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam.

“We had the bases loaded with no outs and didn’t score a run with the middle of the lineup,” Prado said. “If you don’t score at that time or get one or two runs, you’re not going to be a very good club.”

USF starter Teddy Kaufman, coming off a complete game win March 18 against FAMU, allowed only one run until the eighth inning, when Stetson, trailing 2-1, scored three runs, giving the Hatters a 4-2 lead to put the game away.

Kaufman didn’t walk a single batter and struck out five. Three of the four runs he gave up came in the eighth inning.

“(Kaufman) did a great job — both starters did a great job,” Prado said. “We just weren’t ready to play.”

USF jumped out early with runs in the first and second inning but missed opportunities late, failing to score with the bases loaded in the eighth.

“We scored two runs early, but I knew we were in trouble,” Prado said. “You’ve got a win streak, and you’ve got a chance to keep it going. I don’t understand how you can’t be ready to play. Days like this make it tough.”

USF had some untimely miscues in the field, including a failed attempt to cover second base on a0 Stetson steal attempt in the eighth inning.

“When you don’t cover a bag, when a guy’s stealing, you know you’re mind’s not in the game,” Prado said.

Prado said he hopes for improvements in today’s game at Bethune-Cookman at 5 p.m.

“When you’re trying to get to where you want to go, you can’t have nights like this,” Prado said. “They’ve got to understand that, they’ve got to bring it to the ball park every day, and we didn’t do it. I apologize to the USF fans because that isn’t the way we’re supposed to play.”