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Sanford leads USF in victory over FAU

USF’s offense struggled, but it didn’t matter.

Junior Shawn Sanford pitched seven scoreless innings and had seven strikeouts as USF held off a late-game rally by FAU to win 2-1 at Red McEwen Field on Wednesday night.

“(The performance) means a lot because we got the ‘W’,” Sanford said. “We need to get on a streak right now. We want to get on a 40-win pace this year. It’s a short season, so every win counts.”

The Bulls would need to win their next seven games to be on pace for 40 wins.

Sanford did his job.

“I was throwing strikes tonight,” Sanford said. “I was getting ahead of guys. They were swinging at the breaking ball in the dirt and having trouble with the inside fastball. I stuck with those two pitches and I didn’t need to make too many adjustments. That made my job easier.”

Sanford has 28 strikeouts and only four walks this year.

“The No. 1 thing he did today was pitch,” said pitching coach Lazer Collazo. “He wasn’t trying to over-throw, he wasn’t trying to do anything like that. He pitched, and when Shawn pitches, he’s hard to beat.”

The Bulls jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI groundout by catcher Daniel Rockhold. They added another run in the bottom of the fifth when Jonathan Koscso grounded into a double play with the bases loaded.

However, with Sanford’s effort, those were the only runs the Bulls would need.

“We didn’t have it on offense tonight,” said coach Lelo Prado. “We missed some opportunities to score some runs. Our pitchers did a good job. (Shawn) gave us a big lift.”

Sophomore Kevin Quackenbush allowed a run in the ninth, but struck out the side to earn his fourth save of the year.

Ryan Lockwood, Chris Rey and Todd Brazeal each had two hits. Lockwood reached base on all four of his at-bats, extending his streak of consecutive games reaching base to 69.

“(Lockwood) made a major turnaround and it’s really helped our club,” Prado said.

USF hosts Big East rival Pittsburgh this weekend, starting Friday at 7 p.m.