Rockhold, Mende power Bulls' rally past Pitt
USF finished the regular season on a strong note Friday, sweeping a doubleheader from Pittsburgh with strong pitching in the first game and impressive power in the second.
Lefty Andrew Barbosa, rebounding well from a knee injury, threw five scoreless innings in a 7-3 win in the opener, and Daniel Rockhold (seven RBIs) and Sam Mende (five) led a Bulls rally in a 10-inning 14-12 win in the second game. Pittsburgh entered the day with a shot at the Big East's regular-season title.
Rockhold hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning to tie the game at 9-9, and after the Bulls scored two in the ninth to force extra innings, Mende hit a 3-run home run for the winning margin. USF's 3-4-5 hitters -- Jonathan Koscso, Mende and Rockhold -- went a combined 9-for-13 in the game, driving in 12 of the 14 runs and scoring nine.
Rockhold's seven RBIs are just two short of the school record of nine, set by Joe Perna in 1980 and Todd Waggoner in 1985. The Big East record is 14, set by Virginia Tech's Brad Bauder in 2002.
The Bulls (25-30, 16-11 in Big East) have clinched the fifth seed in next week's Big East tournament in Clearwater and will open the tournament at 5 p.m. Wednesday against fourth-seeded St. John's.