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USF drops baseball park opener

TAMPA — Playing the first game in its new baseball stadium, USF had the perfect weather, a record crowd, a first-inning home run to set the tone and seven scoreless innings from starter Randy Fontanez on Friday night.

But with 3,126 fans looking on, USF's bullpen couldn't hold a three-run, eighth-inning lead, and Elon rallied for a 4-3 victory in 10 innings to keep the Bulls winless in 2011. Shortstop Sam Mende, who hit the stadium's first homer, had a chance at another memory with two on and two out in the 10th, but he struck out swinging.

"The home run was my one lonely hit of the night, so I didn't do much for us at the end," Mende said. "We just have to come out (today) with the same fire."

USF (0-4) had solid relief from closer Kevin Quackenbush, who struck out seven in 2 1/3 innings. Back in for the 10th, he walked two batters, threw a passed ball, then intentionally walked the bases loaded. Reliever Zach Pietrzyk got one strikeout but issued a bases-loaded walk to give the Phoenix (4-1) the lead.

"The community came out. I'm so excited," USF coach Lelo Prado said. "The atmosphere here (Friday) is what I'm looking for."

Miami AD exits

CORAL GABLES — Kirby Hocutt resigned as Miami's athletic director after 2½ years to take the same job at Texas Tech.

Hocutt told Miami officials of the decision Friday. University president Donna Shalala announced the move in a one-paragraph statement even before Tech officials or Hocutt made the decision public.

"I am deeply disappointed," Shalala said.

Texas Tech later said that it has an "agreement in principle" with Hocutt, noting that details still need to be worked out. At Texas Tech, Hocutt, 38, will replace the retiring Gerald Myers.

Shalala's statement did not discuss how the Hurricanes will search for a new athletic director, specify if an interim will be chosen or how long the university expects to spend on that process.

Saint Leo women's coach resigns

Chanita Olds, whose Lions enter tonight's regular-season finale against Barry 9-17, is resigning as coach after six seasons. Olds, a former Lions player in the late 1990s, said, "I am forever grateful for what Saint Leo has given me, and it really saddens me to leave," said Olds, who is 61-103 going into tonight.

No. 21 Marist 64, Siena 48: Erica Allenspach scored 20 as the Red Foxes (26-2, 17-0 Metro-Atlantic) wrapped up their seventh straight outright regular-season conference title while extending the nation's longest winning streak to 22 games.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

USF drops baseball park opener 02/25/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 25, 2011 10:46pm]

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