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USF Baseball Loses First Two Games of Weekend Series With Tulane

Conference play is off to a stumbling start for the Bulls.


The USF Bulls are on their first losing streak of the season after dropping the first two games of their weekend series at Tulane’s Greer Field. The Green Wave won 6-4 on Friday night and 4-3 on Saturday afternoon.

On Friday night, the Bulls jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. Luke Borders, Joe Genord, and Duke Stunkel all doubled to score two runs. David Villar followed up with a single to score Stunkel for USF’s third run.

Phoenix Sanders pitched six innings of one-run ball, but things fell apart in the seventh. Sal Gozzo walked and scored on pinch hitter Grant Brown’s double to cut USF’s lead to 3-2. That was it for Sanders, and when reliever Joe Cavallaro came in the wheels came off. Three infield hits, two wild pitches, a fielder’s choice, and two base hits led to five Green Wave runs. Mark Savarese came on to end the inning, but Tulane led 6-3 and held on for the win.

On Saturday, Shane McClanahan had a bit of a struggle and the bats went cold. Jake Willsey hit a two-run homer in the third inning, and Grant Witherspoon’s two-run single in the 7th gave Tulane a 4-1 lead. Joe Genord hit a two-run bomb down the left-field line with one out in the ninth inning to give the Bulls a chance. However, Chris Chatfield grounded out to first and Tyler Dietrich popped up to first to end the game. (USF’s other run came on Coco Montes’s solo jack in the 6th.)

USF didn’t have trouble getting runners on base, but the Green Wave kept getting out of jams. They turned three double plays, and even caught Kevin Merrell stealing twice.

The Bulls (23-5) will try to avoid being swept beginning at 2:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Peter Strzelecki is the probable starter for USF.