Bulls avoid sweep in extra innings

Tommy Peterson was the lone USF pitcher to earn a win this weekend after he allowed one run over 3 2/3 innings in Champaign, Illinois. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

There hasn’t been much of a middle ground for the Bulls in 2015. Their wins have been impressive — most recently, they beat Illinois 8-5 in extra innings on the road. 

Their losses have been impressive for other reasons, with the most brutal losses coming from top-20 teams. 

The Bulls’ nine-game winning streak was sandwiched in between games against No. 19 FSU and No. 18 Illinois (17-5-1). They were outscored 34-4 in their two games against the Seminoles and 18-3 in two against the Fighting Illini.

The Bulls (16-8-1) are 2-4 on the road, but they rallied for a win Sunday in Champaign, Illinois to avoid the sweep.

Catcher Levi Borders went 4-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs, while his brother Luke Borders went 4-for-5 with a run and two RBIs. 

Tied at five in the 10th inning, Levi’s two-RBI double put the Bulls ahead before Luke drove him in to give pitcher Tommy Peterson a three-run cushion. 

Peterson (2-1) earned the win after allowing one run through 3 2/3 innings. 

Illinois pitcher Tyler Jay (4-1), who came in leading the nation with a 0.00 ERA, took the loss. The junior had allowed just eight hits over 23 1/3 innings prior to the matchup.

Saturday, the Bulls never led on their way to a 5-2 loss behind Casey Mulholland (3-3), who surrendered seven hits in his third complete game. Buddy Putnam and Daniel Portales both homered to give the Bulls their only runs.

Perhaps the Bulls’ most discouraging loss came Friday behind ace Jimmy Herget. The Bulls scored first, but Herget (4-1) took the loss after surrendering seven earned runs over 6 1/3 innings. Three pitchers relieved him, but USF ultimately fell 13-1.

The Bulls look to carry the momentum from Sunday’s finale to Fort Myers, where they will face Florida Gulf Coast University on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.