TAMPA — The University of South Florida broke open an otherwise close game to score 10 runs in the seventh inning and beat the Cincinnati Bearcats 15-4 in the finale of the first American Conference series of 2015 for both teams at USF Baseball Stadium. Buddy Putnam launched his second home run of the game, this one a grand slam, to end the game due to the 10-run rule on get away day.
USF improves to 20-8-1 and 3-0 in the American while the Bearcats fall to 6-19 and 0-3 in the American.
The Bulls took a 5-4 lead in the seventh before scoring 10 runs on two hits.
Putnam’s monster day ended with the two homers, seven RBI and three runs scored. It was his second multiple home run game in the Bulls last four.
Putnam now leads the Bulls with six home runs on the year. Considering that his first home run of the year came just eight days ago against Illinois, six home runs is even more impressive.
“Buddy has given us great at bats, but great at-bats with power,” head coach Mark Kingston said. “He’s always been a singles hitter but this year he’s adding power to his game and that’s really important to us.”
Putnam quickly returned the praise to the coaching staff for his success.
“A lot of this is Coach Kingston and the rest of the coaching staff. We’ve made adjustments that have really improved the consistency in my swing and my approach.” said Putnam.
Ryan Valdes came on in relief for Bulls starter Joe Cavallaro, who gutted his way through four innings on 58 pitches, and picked up the win with 2 2/3 innings of work allowing just on unearned run and striking out six.
Tommy Peterson and his fastball picked up his eighth save of the season.
The Bulls will take Monday off and then travel to Stetson to take on the Hatters for the second time this year Tuesday in Deland.
- Levi Borders had three hits and two RBI
- The Bulls were the only team in the American Conference to finish the opening weekend of conference play 3-0.
- USF finished March 12-0 at home and the 2015 home run total is now 18.