After exactly three years the No. 6 seed South Florida Bulls baseball team made its way back to Clearwater for The American Athletic Conference baseball tournament on Tuesday and defeated the No. 3 seed Wichita State Shockers 7-2.
USF wasted little time in the top of the first inning as they poured in three runs on five hits buoyed by four consecutive two-hits, including a RBI-double by 2B Matt Ruiz to give the Bulls a 2-0 lead.
Centerfielder Roberto Pena hit a two-run home run—his 11th home run of the season, and third versus Wichita State—to give the Bulls a 5-0 lead after two innings. Carmine Lane’s sac fly, and Daniel Cantu’s home run in the 8th inning extended the Bulls lead to 7-2.
Senior RHP Collin Sullivan, who’s no stranger to magic in Clearwater, pitched an effective 5.2 innings, and limited the Shockers to just two runs, and struck out seven. Sullivan allowed two leadoff triples in the third and fifth inning that helped WSU chip into the lead.
LHP Logan Lyle pitched the last 3.1 innings to earn the save. He struck out four, and allowed just one hit.
USF will face Tulane on Thursday with first pitch scheduled for 47 minutes after the conclusion of the C. Florida/Memphis game. USF missed out on facing Tulane this year due to COVID-19 issues with the program. The Bulls last won their opening game of the tournament in 2017 when they beat Tulane 7-6.