Putnam powers Bulls to 8-7 win

Buddy Putnam homered twice and scored the winning run against FGCU on Tuesday night. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

The Bulls’ offense is heating up just in time for conference play.

Senior Buddy Putnam homered twice, doubled to tie the game in the ninth and then scored to put USF ahead, 8-7, for a good Tuesday night game against Florida Gulf Coast University.  

Undoubtedly, it was a career night for the first baseman who has homered four times in the past three games. The senior went 3-for-5 with three runs and three RBIs in Fort Myers. 

The Bulls (17-8-1) have amplified their power. They’ve homered 15 times this season, compared to the nine they totaled last year.

Luke Maglich homered in the fourth to give the Bulls a 3-2 lead, their first advantage of the night. The right fielder also put the Bulls ahead in the ninth and singled to score Putnam. 

Putnam and Maglich were two of six Bulls with multi-hit performances. 

Michael Farley (2-0) earned the win after fanning the final batter to escape a bases-loaded jam. The sophomore tossed 1 2/3 shutout innings in relief of Ryan Valdes and starter Brandon Lawson, who allowed four runs on eight hits through 3 1/3 innings. 

The Eagles (11-13-1) led off with back-to-back singles in the first. Jake Noll then drove in the two base runners with another single to put FGCU on top. The second baseman went 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs. 

Nick Rivera drove in the other four runs for the Eagles. The first baseman doubled in the Eagles’ three-run fourth, doubled to extend the lead to 6-3 in the sixth and reached on an RBI fielder’s choice to give his team a 7-6 advantage in the eighth. 

The Bulls begin conference play this weekend when they host Cincinnati for a three-game series, Friday at 6:30 p.m.