What a weekend for the USF Bulls. Baseball, softball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, and women’s golf all on the road, and all in action this weekend. Let’s check how everything went down.
Baseball (23-13, 7-5 AAC)
The Bulls three-game series in Greenville had it all. Big innings, tons of hits, home runs, rain delays, umpire warnings and fan heckling. While it didn’t start pretty with a 15-2 blowout loss to No. 7 East Carolina on Friday night, the Bulls rallied for a big 13-1 win of their own Saturday and a 5-4 nail-biting win on Sunday to clinch the series and pull into a three-way first place tie in the conference standings.
Despite having left-handed ace Shane McClanahan on the mound and tallying 11 hits on Friday, the seventh-ranked Pirates scored in nearly every inning and picked up the 15-2 win to open the series.
Saturday, USF responded in a big way, scoring three runs in the first and shelling out 16 hits while right-handed starter Peter Strzelecki tossed his second career complete game in a 13-1 victory to even the series.
With the Bulls leading 3-1 in the seventh on Saturday night, junior Joe Genord smashed a two-run bomb to right-center after being told by ECU pitcher Gavin Williams to “get in the box” as seen here.
Genord responded by not only giving the Bulls a 5-1 cushion, but also by circling the bases slowly and celebrating along the way, much to the dismay of East Carolina head coach Cliff Godwin.
Despite the Pirates and Godwin’s best efforts, the Bulls were not phased and hung on for a 5-4 win on Sunday behind a two-run double from Chris Chatfield with closer Andrew Perez locking down his fifth save, sending the fans back to their farms and USF to a top-10 series victory. Special shout out to RHP Alec Wisely who came on in relief of Collin Sullivan in the fourth inning and struck out six of the first eight batters he faced. Without him, things could’ve ended much differently today.
USF will return home for a mid-week contest against UNF on Tuesday night, before hosting C. for a crucial three-game set this weekend. The Bulls are in a three-way tie for first in The American with Houston and Cincinnati.
Softball (31-16. 9-3 AAC)
The Bulls notched another series victory over the weekend in Oklahoma, taking two of three from Tulsa to maintain their first-place spot in the conference standings.
Behind homers from Mia Fung and Lindsey Devitt on Friday night, USF held on for a 3-1 win to open the series on Friday night.
Saturday, with temps in the lowers 20’s, the Bulls scored in the final three innings and Brooke Hartman smashed her ninth homer in an 8-6 USF victory.
Sunday, the win streak was halted at four as the Bulls dropped a 3-1 decision to the Golden Hurricane after allowing a three-run sixth inning. Junior Macy Cook was 2-for-3 with a double, but the rest of the Bulls were unable to get the bats rolling.
USF, winners of every conference series this season, will begin a three-game series on the road at ECU on Friday night.
Men’s Tennis (8-15, 2-3 AAC)
In an up and down, mostly disappointing season, the Bulls grabbed an impressive 4-1 win in the War On I-4 over our rivals to the East on Sunday afternoon in the regular season finale.
Senior Grayson Goldin gave the Bulls their first singles match victory, a 6-3, 6-3 win at the No. 3 spot to start the day, while Sophomore Jakub Wojcik quickly mowed down his Knights opponent in a 7-5, 6-1 victory in No. 5 singles.
Dominican Republic native, Peter Bertran rallied for a big 6-2, 6-3 win over C. ‘s Gabriel Decamp in straight sets.
After the match, head coach Ashley Fisher told GoUSFBulls.com,
“I couldn’t be any prouder of the way the boys represented the University of South Florida and the people of the Tampa Bay area today. They showed maturity adjusting to going indoors and then played with passion, courage, and the result was something we’ve known we had in us all season.”
The Bulls will head to Dallas for the AAC Tournament April 20-23.
- The USF women’s golf team opened the American Athletic Conference tournament on Sunday in 10th place. Junior transfer Natalia Villavicencio carded a 73 in the opening round with three birdies and is tied for the third-best scoring average in the field on par-3 holes. The Bulls will begin Round 2 of the tournament on Monday morning at 8 a.m. and scoring updates are available here.
- The USF men’s golf team will finish up the regular season beginning Monday, playing 36 holes Monday and 18 on Tuesday at Old Waverly Golf Club (par 72, 7,000 yards in West Point, Mississippi.