USF baseball beats UNF 7-1, sweeps season series

On an unseasonably chilly Tuesday night, USF kept the bats warm, defeating North Florida 7-1 at the USF Baseball Stadium.

The Bulls tallied 13 hits in total. Coco Montes, Duke Stunkel Jr. and Carson Ragsdale each had multi-hit games, while Kyle Phillips and Garrett Zech hit homers in the third and eighth innings respectively.

USF scored all seven of its runs unanswered, as North Florida’s only run came in the top of the first inning.

Neither starting pitcher had a night to remember. USF starter Baron Stuart went only 1.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits, two walks and a hit batter.

Stuart recorded the first two outs of the second inning with five pitches before surrendering a double, hitting a batter on a full count and walking the next batter to load the bases.

Noah Yager entered the game and struck out North Florida’s top hitter, Tanner Murphy, to escape the jam. Yager went 5.1 innings, allowing no runs on four hits and struck out 10 for his first win of the season.

“Yager was outstanding tonight,” coach Billy Mohl said. “That’s what we needed out of the bullpen. You couldn’t ask for anything better.”

North Florida starter Matt Vaka went 2.1 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. The senior from Tampa picked up his second loss of the season.

USF’s win over North Florida is its second win of the season against the Ospreys and its third in a row.

Next up for USF is a three-game weekend series against UCF Friday through Sunday. UCF clinched the War on I-4 season series Tuesday thanks to its women’s golf team’s performance in the AAC championship.

As far as baseball goes, the Bulls won the 2017 regular season series 4-2, though UCF defeated the Bulls 12-0 in the AAC Tournament to eliminate USF.