It might be exactly the result the Bulls needed.
After being swept and outscored 26-7 over the weekend by No. 1 Florida, USF baseball (6-10), thanks in part to freshman Dillon Besnier’s first career grand slam, defeated Pittsburgh 12-8 on Tuesday night at the USF Baseball Stadium.
“It honestly felt great,” Besnier said. “[I was] about to come up to bat, [assistant coach] Bo Durkac told me just to be sure and get a ball I can do damage with … I had a 2-1 count and he threw me a fastball up, tried to beat me, fouled it off and then he threw me a slider and hung it and I just got barrel to it.”
Besnier’s grand slam capped a five-run fifth inning. Senior Jordan Santos, who drove in the other run in the fifth via a bases-loaded walk, also recorded four RBIs, while junior Jake Sullivan recorded three. USF’s 12 runs were a season high.
“The guys came out ready to play,” coach Billy Mohl said. “We got it handed to us this past weekend. … These guys are hungry. They’re not going to lay down, and this is what I saw of the offense in the early spring and the fall. It was good to see those guys, especially those older guys — Santos and Sullivan — step up.”
Junior Baron Stuart recorded his first win of the season, going five innings, allowing three runs on three hits with six strikeouts.
“I thought Baron Stuart was really good,” Mohl said. “He hasn’t pitched it two weeks, and I thought he was pretty sharp. He gave us a chance to win the ballgame.”
The win over the Panthers (10-6) could be a confidence booster going forward, according to Besnier.
“It’s a big win,” he said. “They’re an ACC team. They were probably expecting to come out and win. I’m sure they wanted to win, they just got swept by Miami, and we came out and handed it to them. They probably weren’t expecting it.”
Next up: Florida A&M on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the USF Baseball Stadium (Radio: Bulls Unlimited)