Knights top Bulls

USF (13-16) reverted back to its early season form Tuesday night, outhitting in-state rival UCF (19-12) but failing to capitalize with runners in scoring position, leading to a 7-3 loss at Red McEwen Field.

“Offensively, we had bad approaches,” said coach Lelo Prado. “We made no adjustments and struck out way too many times.”

The Bulls used seven pitchers. Redshirt freshman Kyle Parker, making his first career start, gave up two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.

“He did a great job,” Prado said. “He kept us in it.”

UCF, leading 4-3, scored three runs in the eighth to blow the game open. Four Bulls had multi-hit games in the loss.

“We didn’t really have energy in batting practice or out here,” said shortstop Sam Mende, who was 2-for-4 with a sacrifice fly.

The Bulls left 10 runners on base, while the Knights stranded seven. USF hosts Big East foe Georgetown for a three-game series starting Friday. With the win, the Knights avoided the season sweep. USF won the previous meeting 4-0.

“We have 48 hours to fix it before Georgetown or we’re in trouble,” Prado said.