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Batters struggle as Bulls drop midweek game against North Florida

Joe Genord had a two-RBI single in the third inning Tuesday night against North Florida. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/BRIAN HATTAB

After being swept by Tulane on the road, USF baseball returned home to another defeat as the Bulls fell 5-3 to North Florida on Tuesday night.

Earlier this season, coach Billy Mohl called for the bats to start swinging. However, USF failed to make consistent contact with the ball against the Ospreys. The bottom of the order — freshman Brandon Schrepf, senior Garrett Zech and freshman Alex Bello — went hitless.

“That’s to be expected of the freshmen with the ups and downs of everything,” Mohl said. “[Zech] has been with us for four years and it was just not a good night for him but it is what it is.”

The Bulls came from two runs down and an optimistic third inning looked like it was the spark USF needed. All three of USF’s runs came from the middle of the batting order in the third, with an RBI from junior Jordan Santos and a two-run single from senior Joe Genord.

“In the third inning, I thought we looked like we were supposed to,” Mohl said. “We put a bunch of quality at-bats together.”

The Bulls’ offensive flow, however, petered out after they put runs on the board.

“The focus needs to be better,” Mohl said.

One silver lining was freshman Julio Cortez. He went 2-for-2 against the Ospreys and has shown his growth as a player.

“He's a smart kid and he works really hard,” Mohl said. “He spends a lot of time working on things. He's a really smart player and it was good to see him have some success back there tonight … with freshmen you never know what you're going to get every single day but I was happy for the way he performed today.”

USF is now on a four-game losing streak and was swept by UNF in the season series, having previously lost 7-2 in Jacksonville in March. This was also the first time this season the Bulls have lost a midweek game at home.

USF will take a break from AAC play this weekend with a home series against The Citadel starting Thursday.