Powered by another excellent start from ace LHP Shane McClanahan and some timely offense, the USF Bulls knocked off Central Michigan 3-2 in the series opener on Friday night at USF Baseball Stadium.
”It was a win, so I’m happy about that but we still have to play better baseball,” head coach Billy Mohl said. “We have to come out more agressive.”
The Bulls lefty went a season-high 6.2 innings, scattering only four hits, walking three and striking out nine Chippewas hitters. He fell just one out shy of a career-high for innings pitched.
USF threatened in the first inning, leaving runners on second and third, but the game was scoreless until the fifth when Tyler Dietirch scored on a CMU throwing error to make it 1-0.
In the seventh, the Bulls tacked on another when Dietrich, as part of a 3-for-4 night, singled to left scoring Coco Montes to make it 2-0.
The insurance didn’t last long for the Bulls though, as the Chippewas scored twice in the eighth off left-handed reliever Andrew Perez to tie it 2-2 and the send the game to extras.
Perez, credited with the win, went on to pitch three innings, allowing two hits and striking out three.
“Perez is feeling his way through this, he’s stuggling a bit right now,” Mohl added. “I wanted to extend him out and see if he could figure it out.”
The Bulls (8-6) got a two-out double down the left field line from David Villar in the bottom of the tenth, before Joe Genord singled him home a few pitches later to secure the first walkoff win of the season.
USF is scheduled to throw RHP Peter Strzelecki in Game 2 of the series tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.