Three HRs, another rally for streaking Bulls
fUSF got another late-inning rally Saturday night, with redshirt freshman Ryan Lockwood scoring the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to beat Seton Hall for the second time in barely four hours. The Bulls have a seven-game winning streak, their longest in 11 years.
Another three home runs -- by Chris Rey, Brian Hobbs and Joey Angelberger -- gave the Bulls their first six runs, with Angelberger's two-run shot in the eighth bringing USF back from a 6-4 deficit.
Lockwood -- who scored on Addison Maruszak's home run in the final at-bat of the first game -- led off the ninth inning with a single to right-centerfield. He took second on a wild pitch, went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Maruszak, then scored on a one-out single by junior Brandon Smith.
Three true freshmen combined for all nine innings on the mound, with freshman Zach Pietrzyk pitched 2.2 scoreless innings of relief for the victory, his second. Randy Fontanez got the start and left with a 4-3 lead, but Stephen Hunt allowed both inherited runners to score and gave up his first run of the season.
The Bulls have won seven straight, the longest streak since Eddie Cardieri's team won eight in a row in March 1997. The Bulls return to Red McEwen Field on Sunday seeking a conference sweep, something they didn't do once in 2007. Last year's team had five series in which they took two of three games, but had no sweeps. Their only conference sweep in two previous seasons in the Big East came against Seton Hall in 2006.
How much longer would the win streak have to go to set a USF record? Almost three weeks. The longest streak in Bulls history was a 20-game streak in 1991 (oddly enough, in an otherwise remarkable 34-26 season), and the current seven-game streak isn't even among the 20 longest streaks ever for the Bulls.
One more historical nugget? The 1982 team, coached by Robin Roberts, finished 45-13 for USF's best winning percentage ever. That team had four winning streaks of eight games or more -- one eight and three nine-game streaks. And after the '91 streak, the next-longest runs to shoot for are 15 games each, in 1976 and 1986. There are nine total streaks of 10 games or longer, though only one (14 games in 1996) since USF joined Conference USA in 1996.