USF Baseball earns revenge, thrashes Bethune Cookman 16-1

With its win over Bethune Cookman, USF (4-4) is back at .500. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/JACKIE BENITEZ

USF scored 16 runs for the first time since 2014 and notched a season-high 14 hits on its way to a 16-1 rout over Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach on Wednesday night. 

Last season, USF (4-4) was eliminated from the Gainesville Regional in the NCAA Tournament after losing to Bethune Cookman 6-4. To make the loss sting even more, it came just two days after the Bulls routed the Wildcats 9-1.

Wednesday night, the Bulls’ play was reminiscent of their first game against the Wildcats (3-7) in the Gainesville Regional, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning they would never relinquish.

After the two-run first, the score would stay the same for two innings. In the third inning, the Bulls pushed six runs past the Wildcats to make it 8-0. They’d then score three times in two more innings before closing the game with a five-run ninth inning.

“It was great to see us put up the runs we did,” coach Billy Mohl said. “We had a lot of quality at-bats and a lot of hard hit balls even when guys weren’t getting on base. Everyone did a nice job of locking in and capitalizing on mistakes.”

The run support helped ease freshman Baron Stuart in his first collegiate start, with the right-hander allowing one run in five innings pitched.

“I thought Baron had a really good outing coming out as a true freshman,” Mohl said. “He pounded the strike zone, executed his pitches and forced a lot of ground balls.”

In the win, all eight USF position starters scored a run and four Bulls had a multi-hit game. Of those four, Garrett Zech hit the most with three hits, two of which were triples. It was the first time a Bull had two triples in a game since Kyle Teaf did so on May 29, 2015.

The 16 runs scored were the most USF’s scored in a game since they downed Penn State 19-1 on Feb. 21, 2014. 

After having a losing record for the past six games, the win puts USF back at  .500 on the season, with a favorable three-game series against Columbia (0-4), which is winless in 2018, starting on Friday at 7 p.m. at USF Baseball Stadium.