Behind two home runs by 3B David Villar that went a combined 5,280 feet—approximately—and a stellar pitching performance by future first round pick LHP Shane McClanahan, the USF baseball team cruised to an easy 4-2 victory over the Memphis Tigers tonight at the USF Baseball Stadium.
“Shane was really good tonight. It’s the first time he’s gone a complete seven innings this whole season...He did a really nice job,” head coach Billy Mohl said. “Villar had two huge home runs and [DH Chris] Chatfield with one that hasn’t landed yet.”
Villar smashed his team-leading tenth home run of the season onto the street in left field in the bottom of the first inning to give USF (28-14, 10-6 AAC) an early 1-0 lead.
McClanahan had his sharpest game since the six inning no-hitter versus Army in March and possibly his last home game as a Bull. The redshirt sophomore went seven innings, struck out 13, allowed three hits, one earned run, and gave up just two walks. He struck out the side in the second and fourth inning.
“We want to host a regional. That’s what our goal is so we wanna get that done, hopefully,” McClanahan said about it being his last home start.
With those 13 strikeouts, McClanahan now has 107 K’s this season, which is good for ninth place all-time for a single season.
“He’s been a special arm,” Mohl said. “He’s a once-in-a-lifetime arm as a coach and we’re very blessed to have him. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for him.”
The Tigers (14-29, 1-12 AAC) would get one run in the third inning when they paired a couple of singles with a sacrifice bunt between them to score.
SS Coco Montes hit a 130-foot double into the Bermuda Triangle between first, second and right field which scored OF Garrett Zech from first who was running on contact with two outs.
In the sixth, Villar led off with his second home run of the night to extend the lead to 3-1 and then one batter later Chatfield sent a pitch over the scoreboard in right field that just landed on I-75 that pushed the lead to 4-1.
Villar is tied with UConn’s Isaac Feldstein for the conference lead in HR with 11.
The Tigers would manufacture another run in the eighth off USF reliever Richie Cruz on a 6-4-3 double play. Closer LHP Andrew Perez locked down the ninth for his eighth save of the season.
RHP Peter Strzelecki will take the mound for his last home start tomorrow at 3 p.m.