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USF baseball season ends in second round of AAC Championship

Sophomore Drew Brutcher completed his second season at USF with 13 home runs. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

USF baseball’s season came to an end Wednesday after a 9-6 loss to Tulane in its second matchup of the AAC Baseball Championship.

The Green Wave (32-25-1, AAC 11-13) came off an 8-1 loss against Cincinnati in the first game of the championship. Tulane also had some notable experience with USF (28-29, AAC 8-16), scoring 22 runs in their April series.  

Redshirt sophomore Ethan Brown took the mound Wednesday night to start the game and gave the Bulls a quality outing through three innings. 

With a strong arm on the mound, South Florida was able to put on an early 3-1 lead with a three-run homer to left field by sophomore outfielder Drew Brutcher. 

Just as in Tuesday’s game against East Carolina, the Bulls lost their lead in a short amount of time thanks to the Green Wave’s offense. 

By the bottom of the fourth, Tulane grabbed six runs against Brown and redshirt sophomore pitcher Hunter Mink to claim a 7-3 lead. 

The Bulls attempted to cut the deficit and continued to fight through the fifth and eighth, including a solo shot from sophomore catcher Nelson Rivera, but fell 9-6 with Tulane sprinkling extra runs on the board. 

South Florida finished its season abruptly in comparison to their underdog tale from the year before, where they advanced to the Super Regional against Texas after taking the AAC Championship and Gainseville Regional. 

Before conference play, the Bulls were successful in every sector of the team until they were faced with multiple injuries that kept some players, such as Brutcher and redshirt sophomore Jack Jasiak, on the sidelines. 

For the Bulls, this may only be the start of what can turn into the team they once were thanks to the roster’s youth, according to coach Billy Mohl. 

You look at the number of underclassmen in our lineup, especially freshmen, who got experience this year, that’s invaluable,” Mohl said. 

“Take [redshirt sophomore] Carmine Lane for example, who hit .190 as a true freshman and became an All-American the next season. And we had [freshman outfielder Jackson] Mayo and [outfielder] Marcus Brodil, hit .280 to .290. That’s a solid foundation.”