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Baseball wins third Big East series

The USF baseball team won its third straight Big East series this weekend against Seton Hall, but again failed to get the three-game sweep, taking two of three from the Pirates.

The Bulls were in position to sweep the series after a 4-2 win in the series opener Friday night and a 6-4 win Saturday, but a 6-0 loss Sunday in South Orange, N.J., ended those hopes.

USF senior starting pitcher Randy Fontanez picked up his third win of the conference season with another dominant performance Friday night. He pitched eight innings and allowed two earned runs on four hits. He also struck out six Pirates to improve his record to 4-2.

Offensively, the Bulls were led by catcher Andrew Longley, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the series opener.

Senior outfielder and pitcher Junior Carlin’s hit streak survived the weekend. He collected one hit in all three games to bump his streak to 15 games. Junior first baseman Todd Brazeal wasn’t so lucky, seeing his hit streak snapped at eight games by going 0-for-3 Sunday.

A five-run seventh inning Saturday carried the Bulls to a come-from-behind victory. USF starting pitcher Kyle Eastham was in line to pick up a loss after allowing a three-run homer to Pirates’ left-fielder Ryan Sullivan in the second inning.

USF’s offense finally got on the board after scoring a run in the sixth inning, but took control with a five-run seventh marked by an RBI triple by shortstop Sam Mende that scored Jonathan Koscso. Mende was one of 10 USF batters in the inning.

Eastham received a no-decision, with Jimmy Moran picking up the win to remain undefeated at 3-0 on the season. Moran pitched one scoreless inning without allowing a hit, though he yielded a walk.

Offensive futility doomed the Bulls to a Sunday loss, with USF posting just four hits.

After reaching first base, courtesy of a throwing error in the second inning, Jimmy Falla moved to second base on a Longley single before reaching third base on a Chad Taylor groundout. Taylor reached third base in both the fifth and seventh innings, but no Bulls could drive in runs.

USF lefty Matt Reed was tagged with the loss after allowing five earned runs off of six hits in 6.1 innings. Seton Hall starter Jon Prosinski allowed just four hits to pick up the win and move to 3-3.

The Bulls get a break from Big East action when they host Stetson at the USF Baseball Stadium on Tuesday night at 7. The Hatters knocked off the Bulls, 9-1, in Deland last week.