The Bulls were outscored 31-4 in their two midweek losses to FSU in Tallahassee, but rebounded for a weekend sweep of Seton Hall at home.
“This week started with about as bad a loss as you can have,” coach Mark Kingston said of the Bulls’ 24-1 loss to FSU. “How you respond to that says a lot about a team. We came out Wednesday with a chance to win that game, and then we came out this weekend and swept a good team, a team that won 39 games last year and that will probably win the Big East this year.”
The three-game sweep marks the first since last February when USF hosted Penn State.
Big innings helped the Bulls (9-6-1) win 12-6 on Sunday and 7-3 on Saturday, and dominant pitching secured Friday’s 1-0 victory over the
Shortstop Kyle Teaf batted .400 in the series, hitting 4-for-10 with three runs and four RBIs.
In Sunday’s 3 1/2-hour finale, Teaf’s two-RBI triple put the Bulls up 5-0 before Luke Borders scored Teaf with a single in the second.
Borders gathered two more RBIs with a double in the Bulls’ five-run seventh inning, giving them a 12-4 advantage.
Tommy Eveld (1-1) earned the win after pitching one shutout inning in relief of Joe Cavallaro, who allowed four runs in four innings.
Teaf also gave the Bulls early energy in Saturday’s game. Trailing 1-0 in the second inning, Teaf’s two-out, two-RBI single put the Bulls ahead.
Center fielder Austin Lueck punctuated the game in the Bulls’ five-run eighth inning with a three-run blast to left-center.
“I’m just trying to drive the ball a little more,” Lueck said. “I think last year, I got a little too pull-happy, so I’m trying to use the whole field this year.”
Senior Casey Mulholland (2-2) earned the win after allowing one run through six innings.
Junior Jimmy Herget (3-0) won Friday’s pitchers’ duel, as the Bulls scored their only run on a bases-loaded balk in the second inning. The right-hander struck out 12 in eight, two-hit innings, and Tommy Peterson picked up his fourth save after a no-hit ninth.
“Some days the pitching carries you,” Kingston said. “Some days the hitting carries you. What you hope to get to is a point where they’re both playing at a really high level and you start to cruise. We still have a long way to get to that point, but coming out with a sweep of a very good opponent like this is good progress.”