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USF Baseball Steals One From C., 6-5

After walking it off Friday night on their own, the Bulls get some help walking it off again Saturday night.

Luke Borders hit
Luke Borders single vs. UCF on Sunday.

With the bases loaded, one out and USF trailing C. 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Andres Leal’s ground ball to shortstop should have led to a game-ending double play. But when Knights second baseman Matthew Mika threw away the relay to first, Luke Borders and Cameron Montgomery scored to give the Bulls a 6-5 win.

Mark Savarese got the win for USF (26-5, 3-2 American) after striking out the side in the ninth inning.

USF manufactured runs all night. Chris Chatfield and Duke Stunkel, Jr. both drove in runs with sacrifice flies. Joe Genord and Coco Montes each had RBI singles as the Bulls racked up 13 hits.

C. scored three times in the fifth inning to take a 4-1 lead and end USF starter Shane McClanahan’s night. Brennan Bozeman had an RBI single, followed by an RBI groundout by Eli Putnam. Luke Hamblin, who had earlier homered off McClanahan, wrapped up the inning with an RBI double.

McClanahan struck out nine, but had problems with his control. He walked three, threw two wild pitches, and allowed Hamblin’s two extra-base hits. The bullpen handled the last four innings well, giving up just two hits and an unearned run.

It was the second straight walkoff win for USF, on the heels of Friday night’s 5-4 win in 11 innings. Borders’ RBI single won it for the Bulls in the series opener. They can sweep the Knights (23-9, 2-3) on Sunday afternoon beginning at 2:00 p.m. Peter Strzelecki is the likely starting pitcher.