A four-run rally by the Wildcats in the eighth sealed USFs (11-10) fate against Bethune-Cookman (12-11) on Tuesday nights 6-2 loss for the Bulls in Daytona.
Shaky relief appearances by USF pitchers Lawrence Pardo and Chad Taylor proved to be the difference in the ballgame.
Pardo started the eighth inning off on the wrong foot and was lifted after he surrendered a leadoff walk and committed an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt by BCUs senior outfielder Brandon Turner.
The juniors miscue on the routine play allowed opposing base runners to advance to first and third with no outs.
Taylor opened up the floodgates by issuing two free passes to the Wildcats, including one with the
bases loaded, allowing a run to score.
The senior then gave up back-to-back RBI singles to infielders Shaun McCarty and PJ Biocic, which accounted for three more runs, putting the game out of reach for the Bulls.
USF managed to score a run on a sacrifice fly by senior second baseman Kyle Copack in the ninth, but could not rally to force the game into extra innings.
Senior catcher Chris Norton knocked in USFs only other run on an RBI single in the third.
USF starter Michael Clarkson (1-3) struck out five over six innings and was tabbed for the loss.
The Bulls will return to Tampa to prepare for the beginning of Big East Conference play against Cincinnati at 7 p.m. at the USF baseball stadium on Friday.
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