After Saturday night’s frustrating loss, the USF Bulls got back to their usual winning ways with a 7-1 victory over Florida A&M Sunday afternoon at the USF Baseball Stadium.
It took a little while for USF (22-3) to get rolling. Florida A&M (15-9) got on the board in the first inning with a walk, a single, and a double off Bulls starter Ryan Valdez. But he recovered to strand a runner on third with one out.
USF tied the game in the third inning when Andres Leal scored on a passed ball. They took the lead for good in the fifth with some good hitting and good fortune. Leal’s hard shot down the first-base line kicked over the first baseman’s glove and into right field for a double. He advanced to third on another passed ball, then scored on Chris Chatfield’s single to give USF a 2-1 lead. Chatfield later scored on a Coco Montes base hit.
Florida A&M had some serious problems pitching and catching. They issued five walks, hit two batters, threw two wild pitches, and had three passed balls.
The Bulls added two runs in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh. Leal had an RBI single, Chatfield drove in a run on a fielder’s choice, and David Villar hit a two-run single to finish the scoring.
The Rattlers’ first-inning run was the only one Valdes allowed in five innings to get the win. He scattered seven hits and walked three, but struck out six and always came up with the pitches he needed to get out of trouble. Noah Yager and Mark Sevarese locked down the game in relief with two scoreless innings apiece.
Conference play begins for USF next weekend, but before then is a Tuesday night matchup with Stetson at the USF Baseball Stadium. First pitch is at 7:00.
- Kevin Merrell missed the entire weekend series with the flu.
- USF has seven pitchers currently sporting earned-run averages of 1.66 or less.
- The Bulls have a run differential of +114 on the season.
- The weather conditions on the stat sheets are one of the highlights of the season. Today’s conditions were “Partial clouds, partial erday.”