On a night that seemed like dj vu for a USF baseball team that couldnt get over the hump in midweek games, the Bulls were saved by the late heroics of a freshman pinch hitter.
Buddy Putnam delivered late in the game for USF, which beat the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 4-3.
Putnam entered the game as a ninth-inning pinch hitter with two outs and James Ramsay standing on second base, hitting a 3-2 pitch back through the middle of the diamond, scoring Ramsay as the eventual game-winning run.
Good teams win one-run ball games, coach Lelo Prado said. Im happy with this, a good win for us, and we struggled in midweek games, so it was big.
Just seven days after the bullpen couldnt deliver the Bulls a much-needed victory over Stetson, the team faced the same situation in Daytona against the Wildcats, who had beaten the Bulls twice in three games in Tampa earlier this season.
Ramsay delivered two early RBIs, giving the Bulls a 2-0 lead in the third inning.
Ramsay was big for us right from the start, Prado said. You know, he came in and he started us off with two big RBIs.
The Wildcats fought back to tie the game in the bottom half of the third inning.
Freshman Kyle Teaf tripled for the first time in his career in the top of the sixth, and was brought home by Luis Llerena on a sac fly in what looked like the game-deciding run. The Wildcats, however, had other ideas.
The Wildcats tied the game at three in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Putnams ninth-inning RBI gave the Bulls a slim lead, needing three outs for a win. Gonzalez delivered for the Bulls in the bottom of the ninth, though not without suspense. Catcher Carlos Delgado led off with a walk, but Gonzalez retired the Wildcats with a groundout, strikeout and flyout.
The Bulls now return home to take on Louisville in a three-game weekend set beginning Friday.