The USF Bulls offense finally erupted in the rubber match against Fordham to take the series two games to one and beat the Rams 13-4 on Sunday afternoon. All of the scoring happened in three frames, but came in massive bunches for the Bulls who won their first series of the season and head into the week on a two-game winning streak.
Starting RHP Collin Sullivan ran into trouble early when he gave up two runs in two innings on four hits, but after striking out a batter with the bases loaded in the top of third the offense came to life in the home-half. With the bases loaded, junior David Villar hit a sacrifice fly to right-center to score Coco Montes for the Bulls’ first run of the afternoon. A two-out Chris Chatfield single scored another run and then JD Dutka smashed a three-run moonshot homer to right-center to put USF up 5-2.
In the bottom of the 3rd the Bulls plate 5 to take a 5-2 lead with a Villar sacrifice fly, Chatfield single and Dutka moonshot HR to right-center. Collin Sullivan back out for the 4th.— The Daily Stampede (@StampedeSBN) February 25, 2018
Sullivan again showed his grit with a bases loaded fly out to end the top half of the fourth and keep the Rams from answering the onslaught from the Bulls in the previous inning, but the good guys weren’t done. In the home-half of the fourth, Tyler Dietrich and Montes singled while Garrett Zech legged out a gorgeous infield single to load the bags. Alec Wisely brought a run home with a hard hit infield single to the Rams second baseman forcing an error, junior Kyle Phillips walked in a run and Villar added another RBI with a sac-fly to push the USF lead to 8-2.
The bullpen took over allowing only two runs the remainder of the game with Kevin King, Carson Ragsdale, Max Holmes (making his collegiate debut), Connor Eason and Dylan Burns shutting the door with an inning of work each. The Bulls added another five runs for good measure firing up the Sunday matinee crowd in the bottom of the eighth on a bases loaded walk by JD Dutka, a two-run double by freshman Graham Hoffman and an RBI single by Montes for his fourth hit of the afternoon. King came away with his first victory of the season for USF.
The Bulls (3-4) will hit the road for a midweek matchup with Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday seeking revenge for their elimination from last year’s NCAA Tournament Regional, before heading back home for a four-game set against Columbia next weekend.