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South Florida falls in a pitchers' duel

Bulls slip into the losers' bracket after a 2-1 defeat by UNCC.

On a memorable Friday in late April in Tampa, Brion Treadway had one of the scariest nights in his college baseball career.

He gave up 16 earned runs in an 18-3 loss to the Bulls. He pitched just four innnings.

But Wednesday night, in a Conference USA opening-round game, Treadway exorcised that demon.

The hard-throwing right-hander handcuffed that same potent South Florida offense, limiting the Bulls to one run on five hits, and held on for a 2-1 victory before 773 at Florida Power Park.

"I just chalked the last game up as a fluke game," Treadway said. "We made a few adjustments in the bullpen after that game. I looked at it as a good chance to get revenge."

Added Bulls shortstop Johnny Raburn: "He pitched a great game. All his pitches were fastballs and he was throwing them for strikes."

With two top seeds already dropped into the losers' bracket, Treadway's revenge snuffed out USF's chance to put itself in a commanding position. The loss means USF plays Louisville, a 4-3 loser to Houston, at 12:30 p.m. today.

The effort by Treadway spoiled a solid performance by Bulls ace John Gorham (10-5). Gorham allowed two runs on 10 hits and time after time seemed to escape with a key strikeout.

"It hurts but I just have to tip my hat to the other guy," said Gorham, who had nine strikeouts.

Added Bulls coach Eddie Cardieri: "I'm very proud off (Gorham). Aside from a mistake or two, he was perfect. He pitched as good a ballgame as he could possibly pitch."

Treadway cruised through the first three innings without a hit and seemed destined to torment the Bulls. Raburn led off the fourth with a single up the middle to break up the no-hit bid, but the spark quickly fizzled. Raburn was thrown out trying to steal second and Treadway struck out Mike Cunningham and Daniel Boyd.

"He got knocked around pretty much when we played South Florida in the regular season and a lesser guy would have come out and been intimidated because they can really swing the bat," 49ers coach Loren Hibbs said. "Obviously Brion didn't. It was a tremendous, tremendous effort."

The 49ers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth on three straight one-out hits, including a two-run double by catcher Alex Derhak.

USF had a few chances to erase the lead but Treadway never wilted.

"When you have a club that can hit like we can and then you have a night where you don't swing the bat like you know you can, it's just because of the other pitcher," Cardieri said. "His stuff was that good."