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First-inning barrage downs USF in Daytona

ORACLE FILE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

USF coach Mark Kingston may be in search of a new starting pitcher for his rotation following freshman Andrew Perez’s first-inning collapse Tuesday night in a 10-3 loss to Bethune-Cookman in Daytona.

Perez was unable to escape the first inning Tuesday night, allowing six runs to cross home before Kingston relieved him in favor of junior relief pitcher Mark Savarese.

The start marks Perez’s second of the season in which he’s surrendered at least three runs in the opening frame, taking the loss in both games.

“We obviously need to pitch better, especially early in the game,” Kingston said. “Once we got past the first inning, it was a 4-3 game in the last eight innings. We just put ourselves too far behind the eight ball in the beginning.”

USF’s offense, which Kingston said he was disappointed with Sunday, was able to churn out 10 hits, but only three runs.

Bulls outfielder Chris Chatfield was the main contributor for USF, going 2-for-4 with his second homer of the season.

Bethune Cookman pitcher German Hernandez held USF (4-4) in check for most of the game, limiting the Bulls’ offense to one unearned run on six hits in his seven innings of work.

The Bulls will return home for a three-game series against St. Joseph’s (3-1) beginning Friday night at 6:30 at the USF Baseball Stadium.