Poor defensive performance leads to loss against North Florida

Freshman infielder Eric Snow now has four home runs this season. ORACLE PHOTO/ CARLEIGH BENEDICT

Unlike the majority of its season, South Florida baseball was unable to produce a strong defensive front in the diamond after recording four errors in its 5-4 loss against North Florida on Tuesday night.

In the 10-inning game, Bulls (12-18) coach Billy Mohl said pitching put the group in a position to win over the Ospreys (16-13), but other ends of the ball just couldn’t perform. 

“Lawson [Gailey] and [Justin] Jackson are both freshmen [pitchers]. They’re doing some freshmen-type things which is expected, but they went out there and they gave us a chance to win at the end of the day,” Mohl said. 

“I thought when you give up four runs in nine innings, you should win the game. We did not execute offensively. We couldn’t get anything going. We had a couple of homers, but I mean the defense and the bats were not what they were last weekend.”

South Florida won two of three games in the previous weekend series against Central Florida, scoring 14 runs with no errors. However, Tuesday night’s story was completely different from how the team played just days before. 

Out of the four errors USF’s defense issued, two put runners in scoring positions and one cost a run. 

Offensively, the batting order started off the game on a high note with three runs in the first four innings. The team was unable to put up a lead for the rest of the game. Despite the sputtering lineup, two batters had a solid day at the plate. 

Junior catcher Joaquin Monque went 2-4 with a solo shot in the third while freshman infielder Eric Snow went 3-5 with a homerun in the fourth. 

After a poor midweek performance, the Bulls will have just one day of rest before taking on their next in-conference opponent, Tulane. The Green Wave (8-21) has had a poor season, but sweeping is not the first thing that comes to Mohl’s mind. 

“Oh, I’m not gonna talk about sweeps. We’re gonna go one game at a time. Do we have the talent? Do we have the ability to? Yes, but we got to focus on one game at a time,” Mohl said. 

“I thought this weekend we played really well Friday and Saturday. Sunday we had a meltdown in the bullpen. We have the ability to, but I thought we would come out better tonight and we didn’t. These guys got to get it together, focus and get ready to go.”

USF will remain home for a three-game slate against Tulane starting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and Bulls Unlimited.