After being shelled by No. 18 Stetson in Deland a week ago, the USF baseball team will have its chance at revenge tonight at the USF Baseball Stadium.
Rain threatened to cancel last week’s game at Stetson’s Melching Field, but by game time the skies had cleared and the game got underway.
For the Bulls, it may have been better if it hadn’t.
USF got off to a strong start against Stetson starting pitcher Will Dorsey, with third baseman Jonathan Koscso singling up the middle on just the second pitch of the game.
The Bulls (17-18, 7-5) were on the scoreboard first too, scoring in the top of the second after Alex Mendez hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Todd Brazeal, who had reached base courtesy of a leadoff double to right center.
The lead was short lived though as the Hatters would respond with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning.
The score remained 1-1 until USF freshman starting pitcher Nick Gonzalez struggled in the fourth inning.
Gonzalez allowed a leadoff double to start what would turn into a seven-run inning that featured back-to-back home runs, the first of which chased Gonzalez from the game one out shy of completing the inning.
The freshman left-hander, who began the season as USF’s Sunday afternoon starter, has struggled to a 2-3 record with a 7.27 ERA this season.
Gonzalez has been plagued all season by the same issues that he struggled with as the ace pitcher on Leto High School’s team. He throws hard, but struggles with control.
He has struck out 25 batters this year, but allowed 24 free passes, a major contributing factor to his high ERA.
He has also struggled to go deep into ballgames, pitching 34.2 innings this season in eight starts – the lowest total of all pitchers currently in the starting rotation – and placing a heavy burden on the bullpen. His 1.73 WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) is the highest of all pitchers who have started a game for the Bulls this year.
For the Hatters (29-7, 15-3 Atlantic Sun) last week, the single run allowed in the second inning was the only blemish on Dorsey’s record as he pitched a complete game, allowing eight hits but only one earned run.
Beating Stetson tonight would see USF even its record both overall and at home to .500. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.