In an attempt to come back after an unsuccessful weekend in North Carolina, South Florida was unable to redeem itself against Stetson on Tuesday, falling 6-4.
The Hatters (24-28) may have a record under .500, but in recent weeks have competed strongly when it comes to its in-state matchups. Stetson defeated No. 3 Miami and No. 23 Florida State with huge leads of 12-4 and 6-0, respectively.
Though the Bulls (26-26) were doing slightly better, their once early success has slowed down with difficult conference play and many unexpected injuries within the team.
This game may have had some of the Bull’s key players back in the lineup, but there is still work to do for South Florida.
The Bulls brought redshirt sophomore Orion Kerkering out of the bullpen to start Tuesday’s game where he pitched four innings and gave Stetson an early 4-0 lead. Though the well-seasoned Bull has proven to be a great piece in the rotation, his past outings haven’t seen the quality he once tossed.
USF continued to struggle with Stetson’s strong arm, sophomore Austin Amaral, until freshmen Jackson Mayo and Bobby Boser were able to cut down the deficit 4-2 with back-to-back solo homers in an attempt to awaken the team’s offense.
It wasn’t long until the Bulls found themselves back to square one with the Hatters extending their lead 6-2 after racking two more home runs to match USF’s offense.
South Florida continued to battle with Amaral for eight innings, but quickly sought an opportunity in the ninth for a chance at a rally.
They attempted to keep the game alive with a last-minute two RBI double by redshirt sophomore Ben Rozenblum, but left the tying runs on the bases.
Even though the bats are beginning to make a comeback in the USF batting order, there is still some cleanup to do in the bullpen. The pitching mound is still going through a number of arms per game, which is stretching their choices thin and leaving them disorganized later into series and midweek games.
For a chance to set a similar fire the team caught this time last year for a successful postseason run and final series, a steady and strong pitching rotation is necessary.
The Bulls will remain home for a three-game series against Wichita State starting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and iHeartRadio Bulls Unlimited.