Hurricanes blow away reeling Bulls

Tuesday’s game seemed to be over as soon as it started for USF.

Miami scored three runs in the first inning and poured on more throughout the game to complete a 15-2 drubbing of USF (1-6) in the Florida Four Series at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

“We’ve got too many guys struggling at the plate, and we’re playing awful on defense,” said USF coach Lelo Prado.

Bulls shortstop Chad Taylor committed an error on the first play of the game, as Miami (6-1) jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first after a two-run double by catcher Yasmani Grandal.

The Hurricanes, who came into the game averaging 10.5 runs per game, continued their offensive surge, scoring two in the third, four in the fourth, three in the fifth, two in the eighth and one in the ninth.

Sophomore pitcher Teddy Kaufman left the game with no outs in the fourth after facing 21 batters and allowing three earned runs. He struck out four and walked six. Matt Quevedo relieved him and gave up four runs in the fourth.

“(Kaufman) did a good job. We have to make plays behind him and score runs,” Prado said.

USF sent a total of seven pitchers to the mound, as the Bulls committed three errors and failed to provide run support.

USF was held scoreless until the seventh inning when left fielder Junior Carlin drew a walk with the bases loaded to give the Bulls their first run. Carlin, who batted leadoff for the first time this season, now has a hit in each of USF’s seven games this season.

Center fielder Ryan Lockwood scored USF’s only other run on a wild pitch.

“We’re not coming to the ballpark ready to win,” Prado said.

Miami freshman Steven Ewing struck out six and walked one in 6 1/3 innings, while Miami senior outfielder Chris Palaez, who came into the game hitting .706, went 1-for-3 with two RBI and two runs.

The Bulls played without starting shortstop Sam Mende, who suffered a pulled hamstring during Sunday’s 4-2 loss to Michigan. Prado said he wasn’t sure when Mende will return to the lineup.

The Bulls travel to Oklahoma this weekend to compete in the Sooner Classic.