Genord lifts Bulls to clinch series win against Western Michigan

Joe Genord bats in the bottom of the ninth against Western Michigan on Saturday. Genord drove in the game-winning run against the Broncos. ORACLE PHOTO/JOSÉE WOBLE

With two outs and the game tied 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth, Joe Genord hit an RBI single to secure the series win for USF (5-4) against Western Michigan (1-7) on Saturday night at USF Baseball Stadium.

With his hands in the air as he turned first base, the team charged toward right field to meet Genord in celebration of the walk-off win.

It took three pitches in his at-bat for Genord to hit his second RBI of the night — the first, a homer to left field in the bottom of the first inning.

Those RBIs helped lead the Bulls to a 7-6 victory against the Broncos.

“I was just looking for something in the zone that I could drive,” Genord said. “Any hitter could say there’s no better feeling than hitting a home run but winning the game is most important.”

Apart from the stellar offensive performance from Genord, the bullpen and defense suffered, specifically in the seventh inning.

Dylan Burns gave up three hits and allowed four runs. The Bulls also tallied two errors which came from third baseman Dylan Buck and catcher Tyler Dietrich.  

“We have to avoid the four-spot in the seventh with two outs,” coach Billy Mohl said. “We had two outs and all those runs scored. You have to learn to calm down in those situations and execute pitches.

Despite the trouble in the seventh, the Bulls never felt like they were out of the game.

“When we were down in the eighth we had a talk with coach and we knew we weren’t out,” Genord said.

Thanks to a two-run homer from freshman Brandon Schrepf, the Bulls tied it up heading into the ninth, giving Genord and the team a chance to clinch the series.

Schrepf’s first collegiate homer may have tied the game up, but Mohl vouched that the team has to play a collective effort.

“We have to play all nine innings hard,” Mohl said. “I thought for a while the game got away from us. We started off hot and then kind of lulled ourselves to sleep. Schrepf kind of re-energized the club but we have to come out and play a complete nine innings.”

The Bulls go for the sweep against the Broncos on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.