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USF sweeps opponents in last-minute schedule change


The Bulls outscored their opponents 25-6 in a weekend sweep at the Best Bet Classic, hosted by UNF in Jacksonville.

USF was originally scheduled to open at home against Maryland Eastern Shore, but wintry weather canceled the team’s flight, forcing USF to find other competition.

The Bulls opened the season Saturday with a doubleheader, winning 2-1 against Liberty (1-2) and 11-4 against Richmond (0-3). They improved to 3-0 Sunday with a 12-1 victory over UNF, which
finished 40-19 and seventh in overall team batting average (.316) last season.

“I’m really proud of our guys for this whole weekend,” USF coach Lelo Prado said. “If we play every game like we did (Sunday), we’re going to be tough to beat.” 

Freshman pitcher Brandon Lawson held UNF to one run in five innings pitched, picking up his first collegiate win. Offensively, USF singled 17 times and doubled twice in the 12-run effort, making it the first time USF scored 10-plus runs in back-to-back games since March 15-17, 2013, when the Bulls scored 11 runs in all three games against Florida A&M.

In Saturday’s 11-4 game against Richmond, the Bulls got on the board early with five runs off of two hits in the second inning. They went on to have another
five-run inning in the seventh when
sophomore outfielder Luke Maglich finished the outburst with a
two-run homer. Sophomore catcher Levi Borders went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs and an RBI in the game.

On the mound, USF junior transfer pitcher Casey Mulholland got off to a rocky start, walking four and hitting two, before being replaced by sophomore Justin Patrick in the fourth. Patrick pitched through the fifth and got the win.

USF went through six pitchers in Game 2 of the double-header, but sophomore pitcher Jimmy Herget lasted seven innings in Game 1, allowing one run off of five hits. Senior pitcher Janick Serrallonga was credited with the save after striking out a batter with the bases jammed in the eighth. 

The Bulls’ two runs came in the fifth with redshirt sophomore second baseman Nik Alfonso’s sacrifice fly and Maglich’s RBI single. Maglich went 3-for-4 at the plate and was intentionally walked in the seventh. 

USF heads to Fort Myers on Tuesday to play Florida Gulf Coast at 6:30 p.m.