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USF baseball rallies for 9-4 win over Stetson, looks toward AAC play

USF enters AAC play at 23-3 this season after knocking off Stetson 9-4 on Tuesday. 

With another win in the books, the Bulls are turning their focus to conference play.

After going down by three early on, the Bulls battled back to notch a 9-4 victory over Stetson (10-17) on Tuesday night at USF Baseball Stadium.

Stetson attacked USF early, putting up three runs in the first three innings.

The Bulls, however, answered right back in the bottom half of the third, scoring three runs on three consecutive RBI singles to right field.

The game would remain a dog fight throughout the middle innings, with the Bulls (23-3) up by a run entering the bottom of the eighth.

That’s when USF busted the game wide open, plating four runs, and killing the rising buzz in the Stetson dugout.

Coach Mark Kingston attributes the Bulls composure in close games to the Bulls’ high level of confidence sustained from their early-season success.

“We’ve had a really good season so far, so guys have that to fall back on,” Kingston said. “We fall behind, and we never feel that the games going to be over.”

With Stetson taken care of, Kingston and the Bulls are turning their focus to Tulane (9-15), who the Bulls will take on this weekend in their first conference series of the year.

“We’re going to have a good workout, and work on the fundamentals like we have all year,” Kingston said on preparing for Tulane. “They’re a really good program, so we’re just going to continue to focus on the things we do well, and play good baseball.”

After missing the past two games with the flu, the Bulls have their best hitter back just in time for conference play.

Notching three hits against Stetson, Kevin Merrell returned to the Bulls lineup Tuesday night without missing a beat, raising his conference-high batting average to .444.

“It’s always an awesome opportunity to get back out and play, especially when the team wins,” Merrell said.