TAMPA — University of Connecticut (11-10, 1-2) left-handers Brain Ward and David Mahoney held the University of South Florida (15-8, 2-1) to three hits and beat the Bulls 4-2 avoiding a weekend sweep in American Athletic Conference action at USF Baseball Stadium.
Ward gave the Huskies 6 2/3 innings not allowing a hit until the seventh inning. He would finish his day surrendering three hits and two runs, (one earned). He struck out one and walked one and threw 79 pitches. Mahoney was nearly perfect in his 2 1/3 innings of work striking out two, walking one and earning the save for UConn.
For the Bulls, freshman right-hander Michael Farley pitched five innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. The Bulls bullpen would hold the Huskies scoreless over the last four innings.
The Huskies came out swinging the bats in the first. After a groundout by Jack Sunberg to start the game, Vinny Siena and Blake Davey got on base with hard hit singles. Bobby Melley ripped a double down the line and the Huskies were up 2-0. UConn would tack on runs in the fourth and fifth to pad their lead to 4-0.
The Bulls scored two runs in the seventh on three hits by Andres Leal, Zac Gilcrease and Joe Altieri, and two errors by UConn, but could get no closer.
Last night the Bulls managed to score six runs on four hits. For the three game weekend series the Bulls had 12 hits total, a trend that isn’t going unnoticed by USF head coach Lelo Prado.
“You can’t go o for 17 with your first five hitters and expect to win many baseball games. Offensively that’s awful. Another Sunday where we don’t come out and play the way we are capable of playing. Sooner or later they have to be accountable. We have to play a lot better,” said Prado. “We have to pitch a lot better and we definitely have to hit a lot better.”
USF will have an off day on Monday then return to the field Tuesday at 6 PM to meet Florida International University for the second time this season at USF.