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Borders’ big bat not enough against Panthers

Levi Borders was a double shy of the cycle and scored twice in the Bulls’ 13-7 loss at FIU. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

USF catcher Levi Borders nearly hit for the cycle Tuesday night as USF fell 13-7 to FIU in Miami.

Borders was a double shy of hitting for the cycle, but his impressive effort on offense wasn’t enough against the Panthers’ onslaught of runs. 

As the offensive leaders for each team, Borders went 4-for-5 with a pair of runs and RBIs, and Panthers’ first baseman Edwin Rios went 2-for-2 with three walks, runs and RBIs.

Rios’s two-run homer in the first put the Panthers within one, and his RBI double in the fourth tied the game at five.

The Panthers (15-18) pulled away and scored six more runs in the inning. Left fielder Austin Rodriguez’s two-out, three-run homer fourth capped their seven-run. 

USF pitcher Brandon Lawson (0-3) took the loss after surrendering eight runs (four earned) over four innings of relief for starter Tommy Eveld. In his first career start, Eveld allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits through three innings. 

Five FIU pitchers faced the Bulls, but Ian Exposito (1-0) earned the win after pitching 2/3 of an inning of no-hit ball. 

Both teams sprinkled two runs apiece over the final innings, but USF (22-11-1) came up short. 

USF shortstop Kyle Teaf went 1-for-3 with two walks, a triple and three runs. The senior now has 127 walks, which places him ninth in USF history. Teaf’s record surpasses that of former Bull Johnny Raburn, who played from 1998 to 2000.

USF was outhit 14-7, and the Panthers committed three errors to the Bulls’ two. 

The Bulls have the second-most errors in the AAC behind Houston with 51. 

The Bulls resume conference play this weekend as they host East Carolina for a three-game series beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.