Koscso’s walk-off home run saves USF sweep

Sophomore Jonathan Koscso and senior Trey Manz had no intentions of letting USF leave the weekend without a sweep.

Koscso hit a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th, and Manz hit a game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, helping the Bulls overcome a blown three-run lead to beat Pittsburgh 10-8 — and sweep the series — Sunday at Red
McEwen Field.

“We stayed up the whole game — it felt like it was our game even when they put up five (runs) on us to go up by two,” said Manz, who hit two home runs. “People were coming in off the field immediately saying we weren’t going to lose the game. I felt like everybody truly believed that, and that’s why we were able to get it done.”

The Panthers scored five runs in the top of the ninth to erase a three-run deficit and take an 8-6 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, however, Manz sent a towering fly ball to center that hit the top of the wall and bounced over. With one runner on and two outs, it tied the game.

“I wasn’t looking to hit a home run. I was looking to drive the ball. Unfortunately for them, it caught a little piece off the top of the wall,” Manz said.

With two outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the 10th, Koscso turned on a fastball, taking it over the left field fence for a walk-off home run.

“I knew it (was a home run) as soon as I hit it,” Koscso said. “It was probably the most unbelievable feeling I’ve ever had.”

Coach Lelo Prado knew he had the right man at the plate.

“Jonny (Koscso) is just clutch,” Prado said. “We call him the ‘Business Man’ for a reason. He came through today.”

Manz added a solo home run in the second inning.  He finished with three hits and four RBIs after going 4-for-5 on Saturday.

“He’s a strong kid when he stays inside the ball and does those kinds of things,”  Prado said. “Both home runs were opposite field. He’s had two great days.”

USF won 8-1 on Friday behind sophomore Randy Fontanez’s complete game, in which he didn’t allow an earned run and struck out six.

“I was hitting my spots well and every time they hit the ball, it seemed to find my
 teammates,” Fontanez said.

Freshman Todd Brazeal hit a pair of home runs Saturday and had five RBIs to help the Bulls rout Pittsburgh 13-5 on Alumni Night. Junior Matt Quevedo improved to 5-0 after giving up four earned runs in 6 2/3 innings pitched.

“It was a total team effort all weekend, and that’s why we’re 3-0,” Prado said.