West Virginia managed just eight hits and one run against South Florida in an 8-1 loss on Thursday evening at Hawley Field.

USF ace Casey Hudspeth pitched six dominating innings, allowing just four hits and no walks while striking out six Mountaineer batters to get the win. Reliever Ryan Lau was almost as impressive, yielding just a single unearned run in the ninth to keep WVU at bay.

The Bulls, who entered the series battling for their playoff lives, jumped on the Mountaineers early. Joey Angelberger smoked a three-run homer in the second to give USF an early lead, and Brian Baisley followed an inning later with a solo shot to up the advantage to 4-0. Angelberger then capped a monster day in which he drove home five runs by lacing a double to right to drive home two more runs in a three-run fourth, which put USF in command with a 7-0 lead.

In many games this year, an advantage such as that has not been safe against booming Mountaineer bats, but Hudspeth kept West Virginia in check through the first two-thirds of the game. Twice West Virginia was able to put two baserunners aboard, but a pair of strikeouts ended one threat and a double play snuffed out the other. WVU also managed to load the bases in the eighth before Lau struck out Kyle Matuszek to end the inning.

West Virginia's lone run came in the ninth when DH Austin Markel's scratch infield single plated catcher Mike Schmidt. Tyler Kuhn was the only Mountaineer with more than one hit, as he managed two singles on the evening. WVU did not have an extra base hit and worked just one walk.

Mountaineer starter Joe Stupka didn't fare nearly as well, issuing an ugly 10 free passes during his five innings on the mound. Four of those runners scored during the first four innings. Reliever Brendan Bergerson issued two walks of his own, with one of those coming in to score in the eighth.

South Florida now needs just one more win to secure a spot in the Big East tournament. West Virginia fell to sixth in the league (tied with Rutgers at 13-12, the Scarlet Knights hold the tiebreaker over West Virginia).

With its own spot in the tournament secure, WVU might juggle its pitching rotation to ensure the best arms possible are available for the tournament opener next Tuesday. The Mountaineers and Bulls square off again on Friday evening at 7:05, then close the regular season with a Saturday afternoon contest.

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