USF baseball traveled to Greenville, North Carolina to face the seventh-ranked ECU Pirates Friday night and probably wish they didn’t, losing 15-2 in the first of a three game set.
Ace LHP Shane McClanahan cruised through the first inning, including two strikeouts, and OF Garrett Zech hit his fourth home run of the season in the top half of the second before McClanahan and company completely unraveled in the home half of the second.
McClanahan allowed a lead-off double to 1B Spencer Brickhouse followed by a walk to 3B Connor Litton. The lefty then got some defensive help with an unassisted double play from SS Coco Montes and then the wheels came off.
ECU left fielder Dwanya Williams-Sutton singled and stole second to put two men in scoring position with two outs. McClanahan walked the eight and nine hitters to force in a run. DH Bryant Packard just barely missed hitting a grand slam, but just had to settle with a bases-clearing three-run double. A ground out to second ended the inning.
This happened in the middle of the second inning. There hasn’t been an update on if McClanahan is fine but he did finish the inning and pitched the third inning as well, although he didn’t fare much better than he did in the second.
He allowed a single and two walks to the first three batters of the inning. ECU scored two more runs on sac flies.
His final line was a rough one: 3 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 2 K on 76 pitches.
The top-rated MLB draft prospect has walked ten hitters in his last two outings against Houston and ECU. Eight of the walks have come in his last 4 2⁄3 innings (7th inning at Houston plus three tonight.)
He’s always been effectively wild but against quality teams this season it has come back to bite him. He doesn’t look like the guy who began the season lights out. Hopefully it’s just a mechanical issue that he can fix.
USF (21-13, 5-5 AAC) relievers Connor Eason, Dylan Burns, and Ross Korosec didn’t stop the bleeding as each gave up at least two run, punctuated by Korosec giving up five runs in his only inning of work.
The Bulls will try to bounce back tomorrow with RHP Peter Strzelecki on the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
- OF Garrett Zech went 3-for-4 including the second inning HR.
- C Tyler Dietrich added two hits and an RBI from the nine-hole.
- The Bulls totaled 11 hits on the night, but did not record a walk.
- 3B David Villar and 1B Joe Genord added two hits apiece.