GAINESVILE — The University of South Florida Bulls took a big step towards the post season last night with a 15-10 win over the 5th ranked University of Florida Gators at at McKethan Stadium. The loss ended a nine game win streak for the Gators and extended the Bulls current wining streak to six games.
Freshman D.J Roberts turned in the best start of his career, completing seven innings allowing just two earned runs while striking out four.
“D.J.had great poise tonight. His fastball ran up to 92-93. His changeup was outstanding tonight but the biggest thing was his poise and he made a lot of great pitches tonight.” said Bulls Head Coach Mark Kingston.
Sophomore Joe Genord was just one of the hitting stars for the Bulls with two home runs, three hits total and four RBI. Luke Borders added a home run and two RBI scoring three runs. Eight USF hitters had at least one hit with either a run scored or a RBI.
For Florida JJ Schwarz added his team-leading seventh homer in the fourth inning and Jonathan India a solo shot in the second.
To took a little over 2 hours to drive to Gainesville yesterday afternoon. Thats quite a bit of time to think about how this game would go.
13 hits and 15 runs for USF never really entered my thinking.
However, watching the USF pre-game batting practice the signs were there. Joe Genord put on a show hitting at least a half dozen balls into the left field bleachers. Later he would add two balls to that total that counted.
Luke Borders was another player that caught my eye. His home run in the seventh to left center was a blast. Over the years I have seen 8 or 10 games at McKethan Stadium. The ball seems to jump out of the park down the lines, not so in the gaps. Fly balls go there to die and get caught. Borders took that possibility out of play.
The final score of the game was 15-10. The game was not that close.
At the end of seven the Bulls led 13-3. The Gators added seven runs in the eighth and ninth to make it feel closer. It was not.
Florida pitching issued 17 walks, let that sink in for a moment. I tweeted out 10 was a season high for Florida was 10 during the game.
“At the end of the day when you walk 17 guys, what are you going to do?” Gators Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “It was one of those weird games.”
Take nothing away from South Florida. Bulls hitters showed discipline at the plate and hit the ball hard all night all over the field.
South Florida entered the game with an RPI of 23. They returned home with and RPI of 19, and the possibility of hosting a regional took another huge step.
Considering Missouri State (16) likely can’t host because the minor league team is in town that weekend. They share a stadium with the Springfield Cardinals, and unless they secure and alternate site they will travel to a regional. Baylor (17) doesn’t have a host resume, so that opens the door for the Bulls.
Boyds World reports for the Bulls to finish in the Top 16 RPI they need five road wins in the final eight games. That was before last night. They need four now with a big series at UConn on tap this weekend. The forecast calls for rain on Saturday and Sunday.