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FIU takes two from USF

For a team with NCAA tournament aspirations, Wednesday’s doubleheader losses weren’t what coach Lelo Prado wanted to see.

The Bulls lost both games to FIU, dropping the opener 6-2 and the nightcap 14-5, and USF’s bid for a regional appearance took a major hit at Red McEwen Field on Wednesday night.

“We were in trouble from the get-go,” Prado said. “We didn’t come out with any kind of intensity.  We’ve been talking about it for a few days, about how important these games are for regional. We just didn’t show up, and that’s the sad thing for us.”

Despite USF’s 10-2 conference record, Prado still believes his team has work to do, considering the Bulls have lost three straight non-conference games.

“We’re focusing on the Big East, but we’re also focusing on a regional,” Prado said. “Right now, we’re in trouble. I think we have to win the Big East. It’s sad that we didn’t give ourselves a chance with the way we approached the games today.”

Junior Teddy Kaufman pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up only one run in the opening game, but it was wasted as USF’s bullpen couldn’t hold FIU down, giving up two runs in the seventh and three runs in the eighth.

“It’s good to have a bounce-back game, personally, but none of it really matters right now,” Kaufman said. “We have a really sour feeling. Whether I pitch well or not, nothing matters except winning the games.”

The Bulls came out just as flat in the nightcap.

After retiring the first two batters of the game with ease, USF freshman Matt Reed walked FIU’s Tyler Townsend and gave up a two-run home run to the next batter, Steven Stropp.

The Bulls never recovered. FIU piled on four runs in the seventh inning and six in the eighth.

“Give FIU credit,” Prado said. “They did what they had to do.”

The Bulls lost last Tuesday’s game against Jacksonville after completing a sweep of Pittsburgh on April 5.

“We have to do a better job,” Prado said. “I don’t know what else to do with them in the middle of the week.”