The USF baseball team was overwhelmed in every facet of the game as they struggled to keep pace with Memphis in an 8-3 loss Friday night at the USF Baseball Stadium
USF ace Phoenix Sanders was far from his usual self Friday night, surrendering a season-high seven earned runs over six innings in the defeat.
“Phoenix left everything up today, probably his worst outing of the year,” USF coach Mark Kingston said. “He’s been really good for us all year. This was just a very un-Phoenix like outing, everything he threw was up in the zone and lefties especially killed him tonight.”
Sanders surrendered a two-run homer in the second inning, but didn’t encounter much trouble until the sixth, when the Tigers were able to add five runs to their 3-2 lead.
After beginning the inning with a homer, Memphis scored four more times on five singles, ending Sanders’ night.
“When you give up eight runs on a Friday night, you probably will not win,” Kingston said. “Our formula has to be pitching and defense and we scored just enough to win the game. Giving up eight runs on Friday night is going to be tough for us.”
Deficit aside, the Bulls’ offense gave Sanders little support, scoring two runs on three hits in the first six innings. USF (15-15, 1-3) added a run in the seventh, but couldn’t threaten the Tigers’ lead.
Following the game, Kingston reminded his team of its series win against No. 25 Michigan State when the Bulls fell 11-1 in the opener, but bounced back to win the next two games.
“I said, ‘Michigan State, a top-20 team, came in here and beat us good on Friday night and we had enough heart to come out on Saturday and Sunday and win the series,’” Kingston said. “So, that’s the only thing we can focus on at this point.”