Thursday, November 23, 2017
Sports

USF Bulls beat Pitt 12-5 to stay alive in Big East baseball tournament

RECOMMENDED READING


CLEARWATER — It was easily USF's longest inning of the season, but also its best.

Nine consecutive batters reached base in the third — interrupted but not slowed by a 3-hour, 38-minute rain delay — and the Bulls struck for eight runs on their way to a 12-5 victory against Pittsburgh to stay alive in the Big East tournament at Bright House Field on Thursday night.

No. 4-seeded USF (35-21) faces the loser of this morning's Louisville-Connecticut game — postponed Thursday night because of the rain — at 6 tonight. The winner advances to Saturday's semifinals needing two wins to reach Sunday's championship game.

"Long day, but we lived to play again," said USF coach Lelo Prado, whose team lost 7-2 to Connecticut on Wednesday. "We took good swings the whole game, which we didn't do (Wednesday). So that's a good sign for (today)."

The bottom of USF's order got the third started with catcher Drew Longley walking and shortstop Kyle Teaf getting hit by a pitch. Then the hits came: a bloop single by Alex Mendez to load the bases, a two-run single by second baseman Luis Llerena, two-run double by centerfielder James Ramsay and an RBI single by first baseman Todd Brazeal.

Then lightning forced the teams off the field, and heavy rain delayed the game until 9:40, when the Bulls' onslaught resumed. Designated hitter Blake Sydeski walked. Rightfielder Jimmy Falla hit an RBI double, and third baseman Zac Gilcrease added a two-run single for a 9-0 lead.

It was the Bulls' highest-scoring inning of the year, trumping a seven-run inning in a March 3 win against Savannah State. USF hadn't scored nine runs in a game since the last time it faced Pitt (28-28), a 9-8 win on April 15.

No. 8 Pitt scored four in the fifth off Joey Lovecchio, normally a top starter but pressed into duty to relieve Derrick Stultz because the delay.

Two other games were completed. No. 2 St. John's earned a spot in the semifinals with a 6-3 win against No. 3 Seton Hall. The Red Storm led 1-0 after four but got four in the fifth on its way to avenging a loss to Seton Hall in last year's Big East championship.

No. 7 Notre Dame, which was routed by St. John's 12-2 Wednesday, stayed alive with a 9-0 win against No. 6 Rutgers in an elimination game.

The last time Notre Dame won a game by at least nine runs one day removed from losing by at least 10 runs was 1996. It lost 13-3 at Illinois on April 23, then beat St. Norbert 13-0. The Irish are the first team to accomplish the feat in the Big East tournament since Villanova in 2008.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Comments
Nikita Kucherov really does admire Patrick Kane

Nikita Kucherov really does admire Patrick Kane

TAMPA — Lightning wing Nikita Kucherov has watched plenty of film on Blackhawks star Patrick Kane.Kucherov marveled how the 2015-16 league MVP uses deception to "hide" from defenders. He noticed how patient Kane was with the puck, how well he passed ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning beats Blackhawks in OT

Lightning beats Blackhawks in OT

TAMPA — The Lightning entered Wednesday’s game against the Blackhawks determined to avoid its first losing streak of the season. And it did in dramatic fashion, with Brayden Point’s power-play goal in overtime lifting it to a 3-2 victory. "A big boun...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Lightning-Blackhawks game

Every Lightning-Blackhawks game at Amalie Arena has a good representation of red in the stands. And Wednesday’s matchup was no exception, with a large contingent of transplants and travelers. "It feels like half the city of Chicago is traveling down ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TodayCollege footballMississippi at Mississippi State7:30 p.m.ESPNCollege basketballMissouri vs. Long Beach State11:30 a.m.ESPN2Tennessee vs. Villanova12:30 p.m.ESPNSt. John’s vs. Oregon State2 p.m.ESPNUPortland vs. North Carolina2:30 p.m.ESPNNorth C...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Niederreiter stays hot for Wild in win

Niederreiter stays hot for Wild in win

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund each scored two goals to lead the Wild to a 5-4 victory over the Sabres on Wednesday night. Tyler Ennis also scored, and Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter each had two assists as the Wild snapped a two-g...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Stitches don’t cool off LeBron

Stitches don’t cool off LeBron

CLEVELAND — LeBron James shook off a blow to the face and scored 23 in the fourth quarter — including 18 straight for Cleveland — as the Cavaliers won their sixth straight, 119-109 over the Nets on Wednesday. James needed stitches in the third quarte...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Basketball: USF Bulls bounce back with rout of Howard; FSU, Miami win

TAMPA — Three nights after running out of steam in a loss at Indiana, USF had enough to steamroll Howard of the MEAC.A 17-1 run late in the first half helped the Bulls to a 75-52 win Wednesday before an announced Sun Dome crowd of 2,080. USF (3-2) he...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Thanksgiving Day NFL previews: Vikings-Lions, Chargers-Cowboys, Giants-Redskins

Updated: 6 hours ago

Sports in Brief

GYMNASTICSEx-Olympic team doctor pleads guilty to abuseLANSING, Mich. — Former doctor Larry Nassar, who was accused of molesting girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, pleaded guilty Wednesday to multiple charges of sex...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Updated: 6 hours ago