Marathon men: USF baseball wins in 19 innings
USF baseball has had an odd penchant for extra-inning games in the last month, but never before like Friday night.
The Bulls matched the longest conference baseball game in Big East history, going 19 innings at Notre Dame and winning 8-2, getting a stellar 12 shutout innings from its bullpen in holding firm to first place in the league standings.
USF (now 14-2 in Big East) set a Big East record with 75 at-bats (previous mark was 65) and saw four players -- Alex Mendez, Jimmy Falla, Kyle Copack and Zac Gilcrease -- match the league's individual record with nine at-bats each. Relievers Janick Serrallonga, Adrian Puig and Steven Leasure each threw three innings of scoreless relief, with seven strikeouts and zero walks between them.
The Bulls still have two more games in South Bend -- it's likely a blessing in disguise that the Bulls' two midweek games this week were rained out, helping put less of a strain on a deep bullpen.
USF's winning runs came with what should have been two outs -- Kyle Teaf advanced on a strikeout and went to second on a throwing error. Mendez singled, and James Ramsay singled to bring in the winning run. Falla, Anthony Diaz and Gilcrease added singles to put the game out of reach, with Leasure getting the final outs just after the game passed five hours in length.