Playing their sixth game in six days, the USF Bulls took the two-hour trip south to face No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast and came up just short 2-1, ending their 19-game winning streak.
The Bulls had plenty of chances to tie or take the lead during the game. USF (20-2) got runners in scoring position in five innings, but could only capitalize in the 6th inning when 1B Joe Genord singled in SS Kevin Merrell to tie things up at 1. The Eagles took the lead back for good when C Spencer Levine hit a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning.
FGCU (19-3) scored the first run of the game in the second inning when Bulls starter Peter Strzelecki loaded the bases and allowed a single by 2B Matt Reardon that scored LF Eli Lovell for the early 1-0 lead.
Strzelecki kept the Bulls in the game with a quality start, but took the tough-luck loss. He lasted six innings and allowed two runs on six hits, walking two and striking out four.
USF had a great opportunity to get back on top in the 7th when 3B David Villar drew a leadoff walk. LF Chris Chatfield singled to left, followed by C Tyler Dietrich dropping down a sacrifice bunt to put men on second and third with one out. But for once the timely hit wasn’t there. CF Garrett Zech lined out to first, and then Merrell flew out to right to end the threat.
The Bulls come back home Friday to face FAMU (14-7) for a three-game series.
- The Bulls were 2-for-11 with RISP and 0-for-3 with runners on third and less than two outs.
- Merrell went 3-for-4 with a stolen base. At least one streak stayed alive - Merrell is now 15-for-15 in steal attempts on the year.
- USF recorded at least 10 hits for the 15th time this season.