This weekend had many firsts for the Bulls, as USF won two out of three games in a series against Rhode Island.
After USF’s Casey Mulholland tossed the first complete game of the season Friday and Luke Maglich singled for the first walk-off win Saturday, USF (13-7) dropped the final game of the series, 16-13, in this year’s first slugfest Sunday.
In a three hour and 53 minute game, the Bulls outhit the Rams 18 to 14, but left 16 runners on base compared to the Rams’ nine.
Both teams used seven pitchers, but USF freshman Brandon Murray (0-1) got his first collegiate start and loss, allowing four runs on three hits with a pair of two walks and hit-by-pitches in 3 1/3 innings. Meanwhile, Ben Wessel (1-1) received the win for Rhode Island, pitching a shutout fifth inning.
USF leads the AAC with 34 errors, averaging 1.7 a game. They committed three in Sunday’s contest and gave up 10 unearned runs, resulting from poor defense on routine plays.
“We practice that every day, and you got to be able to do it,” USF coach Lelo Prado said. “When you don’t do it, you let a mediocre team come in here and beat you.”
Though the Bulls struggled defensively, they had a chance to come back in the ninth. Down 16-13, the bases were loaded for three batters, including Kyle Teaf, who was hit by a pitch to score the only run of the inning.
Teaf, who currently leads the AAC with 11 errors, 29 hits and 21 runs, committed three errors and went 6-for-8 with five runs and three RBIs in
Maglich carried the
momentum from his walk-off single in Saturday’s 4-3 victory, going 4-for-6 with two triples, two runs and three RBIs on Sunday.
Prado credited the walk-off win on Saturday to the team’s attitude.
“To come out in that last inning and pull it off — great team win,” Prado said after the game. “They’re playing together. Good things happen to that team when they play together.”
Tommy Peterson (1-0), who sat out last season after having Tommy John surgery, earned his first collegiate win Saturday, allowing one hit in 2 2/3 innings of relief for starter Michael Farley. Peterson took the mound in the seventh and struck out two, retiring the side with the bases loaded.
“I think the key of the game is Tommy Peterson coming in and getting two huge outs for us,” Prado said.
Impressive pitching paid off in Friday’s 5-1 victory also as Mulholland (2-0) tossed 101 pitches for a complete game.
Mulholland’s run support came in the first two innings.
Teaf led off the Bulls with a single to center in the first inning.
Rhode Island pitcher Nick Narodowy (0-2), who received the loss after allowing five runs in 4 2/3 innings, hit Nik Alfonso.
The next batter Maglich reached on a fielder’s choice, putting runners on the corners for Daniel Portales who flew out to center. With two outs, Buddy Putnam and Levi Borders each hit RBI singles to put the Bulls up 2-0.
The Bulls tacked on another three in the second, as Zac Gilcrease scored on Maglich’s fielder’s choice, Teaf on Putnam’s RBI single and Alfonso on Levi Borders’ sacrifice fly.
The Bulls hit the road to play Jacksonville on Tuesday at