Days removed from losing a weekend series in Houston, the USF baseball team allowed a big three-run eighth inning to the Stetson Hatters in a third consecutive defeat, 5-2 on Wednesday afternoon at Melching Field at Conrad Park in DeLand.
The Bulls (21-12) got on the board just four batters into the game when Joe Genord singled home David Villar to make it 1-0 in the first inning.
Freshman starter Baron Stuart gave it right back in the home half of the first however, allowing a few base runners and an RBI single to tie it 1-1.
Stuart allowed another run in third and was pulled from the game going 2.1 innings, giving up just one hit, walking three and striking out four on 50 pitches.
USF responded again in the top of the fifth when catcher Tyler Dietrich sprinted home on a passed ball to tie it 2-2.
The Bulls used a combination of SIX different pitchers the rest of the way, and after Graham Hoffman allowed a Hatters runner to reach second in the eighth, he was pulled for junior lefty Kevin King.
King allowed consecutive RBI doubles to make it 4-2, and a fielder’s choice a few pitches later pushed the Stetson lead to three. The lefty was charged with the loss, giving up two runs on two hits and striking out two.
USF will look to rebound Friday night when ace Shane McClanahan heads to the mound in the first of a tough three-game weekend series at No. 7 ECU. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.