Cameron Montgomery’s RBI double in the fifth inning gave USF the lead for good as they rallied past the C.Florida Knights 7-5 Sunday afternoon to sweep their three-game series.
The Bulls (27-5, 4-2 American) got off to a good start when Kevin Merrell led off the first inning with a home run. But USF starter Peter Strzelecki and reliever Ryan Valdes didn’t have their best stuff, and C. took advantage. When Rylan Thomas homered off Valdes in the top of the fifth, the Knights (24-10, 2-4 American) led 4-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, USF struck for four runs off Knights starter Joseph Sheridan. Luke Borders led off with a triple and scored on Joe Genord’s double. David Villar drew a one-out walk, and then Andres Leal hit a single to score Genord and tie the game at 4. That was it for Sheridan, but Eric Hepple couldn’t stop the bleeding. Montgomery greeted Hepple with his RBI double, followed by Garrett Zech driving in still another run with a base hit.
Luke Hamblin cut USF’s lead to 6-5 with an RBI single off Michael Farley, at which point Mark Kingston turned to Joe Cavallaro to stop the madness. Cavallaro pitched 3 1⁄3 shutout innings and struck out six to earn a save. (Seems like he should get more than that for such an effort.) The Bulls scored their final run in the bottom of the 7th when Leal crossed the plate on a Jason Bahr wild pitch.
USF visits Stetson on Tuesday night for their second meeting of the season with the Hatters. Then they return to Tampa for a Thursday-Friday-Saturday weekend series with Cincinnati. The Thursday and Friday games start at 6:30 p.m. First pitch on Saturday will be at noon, to finish up before the USF football spring game.
Box Score Weather Report: Today’s weather was “Just Fantastic.”