The USF Bulls hosted the University of Miami (OH) RedHawks for the final installment of their four game weekend series on Sunday, winning easily by a score of 11-2.
Peter Strzelecki got another Sunday start for the Bulls and he pitched great again this week. He gave up one easy run in the first, but settled in and wouldn’t allow another run over his four innings of work.
Strzelecki finished the game with four innings, four hits, one earned run and six strikeouts, but didn’t take the mound for the fifth, so he wasn’t credited with the win.
Noah Yager came out of the bullpen in relief and earned the win after sitting down three straight RedHawks in the fifth, and getting out of a jam after loading the bases in the sixth.
The rest of the Bulls’ staff picked up right where Strzelecki and Yager left off, allowing no hits between the seventh and eighth while Savarese closed the door, letting just one final run cross the plate for the RedHawks in the ninth.
“I think the pitching has been the thing we do best so far. That staff and Billy [Mohl] have done a really good job this year of holding opponents down,” said USF head coach, Mark Kingston. “You also factor in our defense fielding over .980 at this point. Pitching and defense. Good teams are built off pitching and defense. Our offense, I think, will continue to improve, but right now we are a pitching and defense team and that’s how the good teams are played.”
USF has already shown that they can win in just about any fashion at this early point in the season, and while the pitching has really been the team’s backbone, it was their bats that got the crowd going on Sunday.
The Bulls scored 11 runs on 12 hits while notching four doubles and three home runs on the day.
After one run in each of the first three innings, the Bulls pulled away in the fourth when they put four more runs on the board thanks to back to back doubles from Garrett Zech and Kevin Merrell, and an RBI single from Coco Montes
Montes also had his second home run in as many Sundays, going deep in the first inning. Then Chris Chatfield continued his hot streak, driving a ball deep over the right field wall in the second, and after coming in to hit for Chatfield, Cam Crabbe left the yard with a home run of his own in the eighth.
“It actually feels really good because last year we only had one sweep, and it feels good to come out here and actually get a four game sweep which can be really big for us, especially when we start the season out 7-1,” said USF infielder, Kevin Merrell.
The Bulls next game will be next Saturday at USF against the University of Toledo.