USF shuts out the Panthers in midweek matchup

Redshirt sophomore Carmine Lane went 2-of-4 with two RBIs in Tuesday’s win against FIU. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

In its first midweek matchup of the season, USF shutout FIU 7-0 on Tuesday. Coming off the Bulls’ weekend sweep of Stony Brook, the momentum followed them into the matchup putting them on a four-game win streak. 

The Bulls (5-2) shined on the mound not allowing any Panthers (7-3) to touch home plate while the offense racked up the runs.

Coach Billy Mohl switched things up against FIU by opting to start the game with the Bulls’ typical closer, redshirt junior Orion Kerkering. 

Kerkering had a solid outing with 9 strikeouts in 5.1 innings, allowing only two hits and no runs as part of an effort to convert him into a multi-use pitcher.

“He was built up to be a starter so this isn’t anything new to him. He was a starter in high school,” Mohl said. “He’s one of our best arms. So we’re going to try to get the most things out of them that we can in the right situations.”

Despite Kerkering only having one career start before FIU in 36 appearances, the transition from closer to starter hasn’t been a hassle. He has also made it clear he is ready for whatever situation the team needs him in.

“It’s no difference, I know last weekend before going against Connecticut, I pitched four innings. It’s almost the same thing,” Kerkering said. “I’m good with wherever, whenever. It’s important for me to pitch for the team.

“It was just a mid-week game, so it’s nothing. I just pretend it’s pitching another game.”

The Bulls’ offense performed well throughout the game with a strong start and putting up more than enough runs to secure a win. 

USF scored five runs over the course of the first four innings, with two coming from sophomore Drew Brutcher’s sacrifice fly and RBI single. 

Redshirt sophomore Carmine Lane shined in the box as well going 2-for-4 with two RBIs, making the score 6-0 in the seventh inning. 

Freshman infielder Bobby Boser rang up the final run to make the game 7-0 with his first collegiate home run. He had little impact at the plate in the past couple of games, but made an impact in the box against FIU. 

“I feel great, how can I not feel great,” Boser said. “I definitely made an adjustment mid-game. I was lunging, getting out in front, seeing pitches bad but you know, mid-game adjustment worked out well.”

USF will hit the road to face North Florida in Jacksonville on Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. The Bull’s next home game will be a series against Brown starting Friday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and iHeartRadio Bulls Unlimited.