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USF baseball’s bats stymied in 4-0 shutout

Coach Mark Kingston isn't worried after a 4-0 loss to Liberty. His team showed its fight in a 11-10 walk-off win on Friday and look to get it back in the final game of the series on Sunday. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

After winning a walk-off 11-10 slugfest in their season opener on Friday, the Bulls looked helpless at the plate in a 4-0 loss against Liberty on Saturday night.

Aside from freshman outfielder Garret Zech striking out looking with the bases loaded to end the second inning, USF was held in check by the Flames pitchers.

“They had a senior lefty who’s had great success in the past and he kept us just off-balance enough,” coach Mark Kingston said. “I think both pitching staffs did a good job of making adjustments tonight.”

USF junior pitcher Brad Labozzetta struggled with his control early, walking three batters and hitting another en route to a three-run second inning.

Junior pitcher Brandon Lawson replaced Labozzetta, allowing one run on two hits over the ensuing 4 2/3 innings while striking out a career-high seven batters.

Kingston said he wouldn’t speculate on what caused Labozetta’s command issues, but that he would chalk it up as a fluke for the time being.

USF (1-1) will have an opportunity to win the series Sunday at 1 p.m. when sophomore Joe Cavallaro takes the mound for the final game of the weekend against Liberty.

After playing two polarizing games for the Bulls’ offense, Kingston said he expects his offense to bounce back Sunday.

“They played really good defense in the outfield,” Kingston said. “We stung a bunch of balls and their outfield, give them credit, made a lot of great plays. But this is baseball and there’s going to be days you look great and days you struggle. We’ll learn from it and move on.”