Bulls win fifth straight, sweep UCF with 9-3 win
TAMPA -- USF shortstop Kyle Teaf took a bunt off his cheek in pregame drills, but the biggest cut of his night was a three-run home run that sparked the Bulls to a 9-3 victory against UCF, their fifth in a row. The win finished a two-game sweep of the Golden Knights, which is USF's first season sweep of their future conference rivals since 1991.
"It's huge for us. It's a fun rivalry, a very well-contested rivalry," said Teaf, who has now reached base in 27 straight games. "They're going to give us their best every time, and we're going to give them our best."
The Bulls (19-14) got another win from freshman Jimmy Herget, who took a no-hitter into the fifth inning but gave up three runs there, raising his ERA to 1.55 this season, still second-best in the Big East. With a 4-3 lead, the Bulls added five runs in the sixth inning, getting clutch two-out hits from Teaf and Alex Mendez to extend their lead.
"If we're going to make a run here, two-out base hits are big, especially with guys in scoring position," coach Lelo Prado said. "We had great at-bats, did some good things and it was good to finish the job."
Prado was pleased with his bullpen coming through for four scoreless innings, with Janick Serrallonga and Jordan Strittmatter pitching one inning and Lawrence Pardo closing out the final two.
"It's always going to be a bitter rivalry, every time we play them, no matter what sport," Prado said.
USF, tied for first in the Big East standings with a 7-2 conference mark, gets the weekend off from league play and hosts Alcorn State for a three-game series starting Friday.