Otero leads Bulls past Pitt in 2-1 win
Senior Danny Otero pitched a three-hitter and Joey Angelberger scored an unearned run in the ninth inning as fifth-seeded USF upset fourth-seeded Pittsburgh with a 2-1 win in the opening round of the Big East championships in Brooklyn.
Angelberger bunted for a single to open the Bulls ninth, advanced on a Nick Cardieri bunt, took third on a Braulio Pardo groundout, then with two outs, scored when Pittsburgh's second baseman had a throwing error on a ball hit by Walter Diaz. Pittsburgh had stayed in the game despite six errors, thanks to a strong effort from starter Paul Nardozzi, who took a three-hitter into the ninth.
Winning Tuesday was a must for USF to continue reasonable hopes of a Big East crown (or an NCAA at-large berth) -- surviving the loser's bracket in a double-elimination tournament requires a lot more innings than the Bulls likely have available with a limited pitching staff. Otero went the distance Tuesday, and senior Chris Delaney is expected to start Wednesday with all of Lelo Prado's relief options fresh and available. The Bulls will play at 8 p.m. Wednesday against top-seeded St. John's, which also advanced Tuesday with a 2-1 win, against eighth-seeded Connecticut.