USF takes series over No. 7 ECU with Saturday and Sunday wins

USF avenged a Friday night rout and took two games of three against No. 7 ECU over the weekend after it won 5-4 Sunday in Greenville, North Carolina.

The Bulls struck first Sunday thanks to a first inning double by junior Chris Chatfield that drove in juniors Coco Montes and David Villar.

ECU (26-9, 5-4) came back to score three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 3-2 lead. The Pirates immediately surrendered the lead back to USF (21-13, 7-5) in the top of the fourth thanks to runs by juniors J.D. Dutka and Garrett Zech.

A solo homer by Villar in the seventh inning gave the Bulls a two-run lead.

Junior Andrew Perez pitched the final two innings, allowing one run on three hits en route to his fifth save of the season. 

Junior Alec Wisely picked up the win, allowing no runs in 2.2 innings in relief of starter Collin Sullivan. Sullivan allowed four runs in 3.1 innings before being pulled for Wisely.

“I’m really proud of our guys this weekend and how they responded after Friday’s loss,” coach Billy Mohl said. “They did a great job of not letting the outside noise take away from the ultimate goal of winning a series. They were determined and brought real energy all weekend. It was a total team effort.”

USF won the second game of the series 13-1 behind a two-homer performance by Montes on Saturday.

USF’s lead remained in striking distance for ECU until the ninth inning. USF blew the game wide open, scoring six runs with two outs while only recording three hits in the inning. The scoring was capped off by Montes’ second homer of the game, scoring Zech and junior Tyler Dietrich in front of him.

Senior Peter Strzelecki pitched a complete game, picking up his sixth win of the season while allowing one run on five hits. Strzelecki faced only five batters over the minimum.

ECU’s only win of the series was the opener, winning 15-2.

The series win is USF’s first series victory of the season against a ranked opponent. 

Up next for USF is a midweek game against North Florida at home on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.