Valdes blanks Wildcats in first win


A week after nearly beating No. 19 Florida State in only his second start as a Bull, pitcher Ryan Valdes held Bethune-Cookman scoreless in the Bulls’ 1-0 victory Wednesday night in Daytona. 

Though he received only one run of support in his first win as a Bull, Valdes (1-1) was able to keep the Wildcats’ batters in check, scattering five hits over 5 2/3 innings of work.

The only jam the junior pitcher encountered was in the bottom of the fourth when Bethune-Cookman (4-14) was able to put runners on second and third base with only one out. Valdes responded by striking out the Wildcats’ leader in batting average, Zach Olszewski, and got the next batter to ground out to shortstop to end the inning.

The Bulls (10-6-1) struggled at the plate almost as much as their opponent, matching the Wildcats with five hits. The lone run of the game came when Levi Borders scored from second on a throwing error in the top of the fifth.

After Valdes was pulled from the game, USF’s bullpen continued the junior’s dominance of the Wildcats’ lineup. A trio consisting of Jordan Strittmatter, Michael Farley and Tommy Peterson allowed no hits or runs over the final 3 1/3 innings.

Peterson earned his fifth save of the season after allowing only one runner on a walk in the final frame. 

The Bulls will return home for a five-game homestand, beginning with a three-game series against FAMU. They will attempt to push their season-high win streak to five games when they host the Rattlers at 6:30 p.m. Friday.