Bulls bounce back against Temple


Before flying to Philadelphia, USF dropped four of its five previous games. But the Bulls made offensive strides to bounce back and take 2-of-3 this weekend against Temple.

The Bulls (20-15, 7-4) overpowered the Owls (10-18, 5-7) in Friday’s 13-6 victory, lost Saturday’s game 6-5 and won Sunday’s rubber game 6-3.

USF’s offense exploded Friday behind starter Jimmy Herget (5-4), who earned the win after allowing one unearned run on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts through six innings. 

Teaf reached base in every plate appearance, going 3-for-3 with two walks, three runs and an RBI, while Luke Maglich and Daniel Portales each went 2-for-3.

USF took a 10-1 lead with a five-run fourth and extended its lead with a three-run seventh. The Owls put up five runs over the last three innings, but it wasn’t enough as they lost 13-6 to the Bulls. 

The Bulls’ offense produced early in Saturday’s game, but couldn’t put up any more runs after USF starter Casey Mulholland gave up a 5-0 lead in the fourth, surrendering four earned runs.

The Owls tacked on another run in the eighth to tie the game at five and won with Robert Amaro’s walk-off RBI single in the ninth. Jordan Strittmatter (1-1) took the loss after allowing the run.

Though it was a team effort, Kyle Teaf’s performance boosted the USF offense. The junior is now batting .336 with a .475 on base percentage after going 6-for-10 with five walks, five runs and two RBIs in the series.

Defensively, USF pitcher Tommy Peterson also made strides. Peterson (3-1) earned the win after pitching his longest career-start Sunday, establishing himself as a possible regular Sunday starter, a position still up for grabs. 

The redshirt freshman, who was out last season after a Tommy John surgery, allowed one earned run on five hits in six innings, while fanning five. 

Lawrence Pardo, who started on first base in all three games, earned his first save, allowing one hit and two walks through
2 2/3 innings.

With the Bulls leading 6-3, Temple threatened in the eighth with Pardo pitching. The Owls loaded the bases with a hit-by-pitch, a single and a walk. With two outs and a full count, Pardo hit Bobby Heitzman on the arm. 

Because Heitzman made no effort to move out of the way, the home plate umpire called for the 3-2 pitch to be redone. Pardo then struck out Heitzman.

USF is scheduled to play Stetson (14-23) at home Tuesday at 7 p.m.