GAINESVILLE — The University of South Florida unleashed a 14 hit attack on the Bethune Cookman University pitching staff to win game one of the Gainesville Regional 9-1.
Phoenix Sanders started for USF, giving the Bulls seven innings, allowing just five hits. He struck out seven and walked three.
“All four pitches were working today, both sides of the plate, when you can do that and you got a great defense behind you, you can have a lot of success.” said Sanders of his outing.
Duke Stunkel Jr led the way offensively for the Bulls with a four hit day including his second home run of the year in the second inning.
Chris Chatfield added a two run home run of his own in the sixth.
USF chased Bethune-Cookman starting pitcher Anthony Maldonado after just an inning and a third worked. He allowed four runs on three hits and three walks on the afternoon.
Redshirt freshman catcher Chase DeBonis hit second home run of the year with a deep shot to left center off USF reliever Mark Savarese to avoid the shutout in the ninth.
USF will face the winner of game two between Florida and Marist.
Bethune-Cookman returns to action Saturday, June 3, when the Wildcats face the loser of Friday night’s contest between fourth-seeded Marist and top seed Florida.
Game Notes and Observations:
To the casual observer perhaps a game like this was to be expected, I didn’t. Last week in Clearwater the Bulls looked tired. No other way to say that. A week off did them a lot of good.
Sanders looked in control early and when he pitches like that he is tough.
The Bulls were disciplined and patient at the plate and it paid off, scoring seven runs over the first four innings.
Duke Stunkel Jr hit lead-off today with Kevin Merrell hitting second. Coach Kingston also flipped David Villar and Luke Borders in the three and four hole. “Our offense needed a little spark.” said Kingston.
The first six Bulls batters accounted for 10 hits on the day.
On “paper”, the Bulls should get the Florida Gators tomorrow.
“We’re comfortable on that field. Past that I think there is very little carry over from today” said Kingston. We tried to go 1-0 today and we did that. Now our focus is on game two.