Rob Bridenstine

USF bats bust open on the Rockets

The USF baseball team picked up their ninth win of the season, eighth consecutive, after the bats busted the game wide open in an eight run fifth inning against the Toledo Rockets.

After the Bull’s offense combined for a total of five hits through 13 innings the night before, the bats woke up to pick up a decisive 12-3 victory.

Redshirt freshman Shane McClanahan (5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) got the start, but had his most difficult night of the season so far. After a stellar debut against Iowa in the opening series, and pitching a gem against Miami (OH) in the first game of last week’s double header, McClanahan found himself struggling.

The young pitcher hit the first two batters that he faced, both of which would end up scoring (the second was an unearned run on a passed ball) to give the Rockets an early lead. McClanahan would give up another run in the third but the rockets wouldn’t have anyone else cross the plate the rest of the night; getting McClanahan his second win of the season.

“He just didn’t quite have his command, especially early in the game,” said USF Head Coach Mark Kingston. “He seemed to settle in though. His stuff is so good that he doesn’t have to be perfect and he can still give us chance to win, and that’s what he did tonight.”

“I thought the double play that he was able to induce in either the fourth or fifth inning, was maybe the play of the game up to that point. It was a nip and tuck game there and that allowed us to take a breath.”

Freshmen righties Collin Sullivan and Carson Ragsdale, both pitched two innings of relief a piece. Both were able to collect three strikeouts on the night, while Sullivan surrendered two hits and Ragsdale gave up only one to finish the game.

The offense saw some batters come out of an offensive slump, such as first baseman Joe Genord (.074) and Cam Montgomery (.050); both of who combined for five strikeouts, one walk and zero hits between a combined total of nine at bats the night before.

“I thought tonight was a really good bounce back for our offense, and we needed that,” said Kingston. “We definitely needed that coming off of last night, we didn’t swing the bats well. That was a great bounce back for us.”

Genord in particular had a great night, picking up a double and a triple that turned into a little league homerun as the third baseman failed catch the relay, allowing Genord to score. Genord finished his day with two at bats, two hits and was walked twice; Genord also drove in three runs while scoring twice himself.

“My dad and I got in the cage today for about an hour and then I went up and saw video with Coach [Mike] Current compared to what I was doing last year, when I was doing well and what I’m doing this year; just try to make the adjustments of what I was doing last year and bring it to the game,” said Genord after the game.

“It’s really gratifying because struggling is not fun, especially in a game where most of it is struggling considering that a .300 [batting average] is great. To come out and make adjustments and those adjustments work, it’s great.”

The Bulls will try to get their second consecutive series sweep as they take on the Rockets again on Sunday at 1:00 P.M. on Red McEwen Field at the USF Baseball Complex.


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