WVU starting pitcher Trent Ridgley got the first tow outs of the game, but then allowed a walk that the Bulls quickly capitalized on when Brian Baisley's double brought home Howell to give the Bulls a 1-0 lead. USF added another run in the second on Jim Cassidy's RBI single, putting the visitors in front at 2-0.
West Virginia briefly got back in the game when Tyler Kuhn homered in the third to cut the lead in half, but the Bulls then put matters away with two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to push the lead out to 8-3 with just two innings to go.
Kyle Matuszek drove home one of WVU's two runs over the same timefram, but the Mountaineers missed a major chance to really make a game of it when they scored just one run after loading the bases with no outs in the seventh. Doug Nelms' sacrifice fly produced that tally, but West Virginia really needed an extra-base hit at that point to put a crooked number on the board. USF relief pitcher Nick Manganaro came on in that inning to put out the Mountaineer rally with a strikeout and a pair of flyouts.
Each team added a menaningless run in the ninth to produce the final score.
Kuhn and David Carpenter each had two hits for WVU which fell to 14-13 in the league and 35-20 overall.
West Virginia will face either Louisville or St. John's on Tuesday in the first round of the tournament. If the Mountaineers hold on to fifth, they will play at 5:00 p.m., while a sixth place finish (if Rutgers wins) would result in a 10:00 a.m. game.