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Bulls fall late to FGCU, AAC play to follow


With only seven home games left in the regular season, it’s crunch time for the Bulls. After a 5-3 loss to FGCU (27-15) at home Tuesday, USF coach Lelo Prado said the team needs to be prepared for Memphis. 

“We’ll practice Thursday, take a day off (Wednesday),” Prado said. “Conference is what counts. Memphis is a good baseball team. We better be ready.”

The Bulls (22-18, 8-7) had a chance to win Tuesday’s game, but fell late as FGCU left-fielder Colton Bottomley hit a three-run homer off Jordan Strittmatter in the ninth, putting the Eagles up 5-1.

Strittmatter (1-2) took the loss after giving up four earned runs on four hits through two innings while starter Brandon Lawson allowed one earned run on five hits through five innings. The freshman walked three and fanned four before Cody Hernandez relieved for two shutout innings. 

The game was tied at one apiece going into the ninth, but the Bulls weren’t able to get their offense going against the seven FGCU pitchers. 

“(FGCU was) going to throw different guys, so it’s kind of tough when you’re facing different pitchers every inning,” Prado said. 

USF second baseman Zac Gilcrease hit the best against FGCU, going 3-for-4. He gave the Bulls a chance to come back in the ninth, hitting his first home run at USF. The lefty pulled a two-run shot to right, scoring Austin Lueck, who went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs.

USF takes on Memphis (22-20, 4-8) at the USF Baseball Stadium for a three-game series beginning Friday night at 7.