Peter Strzelecki turned in the start of the season for USF Baseball, pitching a two-hit, complete-game shutout to help lead the Bulls to a 2-0 win Saturday at UConn’s garbage pee-wee stadium.
A Kevin Merrell RBI single in the seventh inning gave USF (39-12, 13-8 American) the only run Strzelecki would need. A Cameron Montgomery solo home run in the 9th gave USF an insurance run and helped them avoid a weekend sweep after dropping both games of a Friday doubleheader.
The twin bill was set up to avoid bad weather that swept in shortly after Saturday’s game ended. In the first game Friday, a Phoenix Sanders quality start (6.2 IP, five hits, one earned run, 9 K’s) was upstaged by an even better effort from the Huskies’ Tim Cate. He pitched seven innings, allowed one run and six hits, and struck out 14 Bulls. UConn (28-21, 12-9 American) canceled out an early USF run with a triple in the seventh inning that eluded a diving Coco Montes, followed by an RBI double.
The Bulls loaded the bases in the ninth in a bid to go back in front, but hit into an inning-ending double play. UConn then did the same in the bottom of the 10th inning and converted with a Zac Susi base hit to win the game.
The second game Friday, a 6-2 Huskies win, is best summarized by this photo that The UConn Blog sent to Nate of Shane McClanahan breaking a UConn player’s aluminum bat with a pitch. It went for an RBI double.
The final week of USF’s regular season begins Tuesday night at Jacksonville, followed by a Thursday-Friday-Saturday weekend series at C. A win in any of USF’s remaining games will give the Bulls their first 40-win season since 1996.