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Bulls' season ends with 10-8 loss to UConn

CLEARWATER -- USF rallied from an 8-1 deficit to have the tying run at the plate in the eighth and ninth innings, but the Bulls saw their season end with a 10-8 loss to Connecticut in the semifinals of the Big East tournament at Bright House Field.

"We just didn't stop them early, and that hurt us," coach Lelo Prado said. "We had opportunities and just didn't get it done."

The second-seeded Bulls (34-25) matched their most wins in three seasons under Prado, but with enough talent to compete for a Big East crown, anything less was a disappointment.

"This is a bad taste," said freshman shortstop Sam Mende, who went 4-for-4 in his hometown. "We have to bring a different mentality and realize what could have been this year, what he have to do next year."

Sixth-seeded UConn (36-23) got four home runs, including two from third baseman Mike Olt, who had five RBIs. The Huskies play at 11 a.m. today against the winner of Saturday night's semifinal between first-seeded Louisville and fifth-seeded Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish forced a second game with a 6-5 win earlier Saturday.

The Bulls, who opened conference play 16-3 and hopeful of an NCAA at-large berth, lost eight of their last 12 games. Their RPI is realistically too low to get an at-large, likely missing the NCAA cut for the seventh season in a row.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 6:29pm]


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