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Maruszak Homerun Lifts Bulls to Victory

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of South Florida baseball team kicked off their 2008 campaign by defeating the Indiana State Sycamores 4-2, in front of an announced crowd of 530, Friday evening at Red McEwen Field.

“We had a good start,” sais head coach Lelo Prado. “We’ll build on this and hopefully come out tomorrow and play a lot better offensively. It’s the first game, guys are nervous. We got a win tonight and that’s all that matters”

Addison Maruszak led the Bulls on the evening, going 3-of-4 at the plate, with a towering homerun off of ISU’s Josh Williams that cleared the left field fence. The homerun was the Bulls’ first long ball of the season and the sixth of the junior shortstop’s career.

“The pitch was up and in and I put a good swing on it and, you know, you don’t really feel it when you make good contact,” said Maruszak.

Freshman Zach Pietryzk earned his first collegiate victory pitching two scoreless innings in relief, giving up one hit and striking out three.

Sophomore Shawn Sanford, a member of the NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list, came in and shut the door for USF, who earned his 12th career save, and his first of the young season.

The Bulls got on the board first when, in the bottom of the fourth, junior Chris Rey singled down the right field line scoring classmate Brian Hobbs, who doubled in the previous at bat.

Junior hurler Daniel Thomas was sharp in his first outing since March 17, 2007, after recovering from a season-ending arm injury last year. He threw five scoreless innings, tossing 73 pitches while allowing one hit and striking out seven Sycamore batters. Thomas was harnessed on the evening by a pitch count put on by the USF coaching staff.

“He’s good,” said head coach Lelo Prado. “He was only going to throw 75 pitches and that’s what he threw. Five innings is really good for a power pitcher. I’m happy with his outing.”

After Indiana State closed the gap to one run in the bottom of the seventh, back-to-back walks issued to Trey Manz and Eric Baumann scored Rey, giving USF the lead for good.

The Bulls (1-0) will be back in action tomorrow evening for the second game of the three-game series against the Indiana State Sycamores (0-1). Sophomore Matt Quevedo will get the start for the Bulls and Brian Oliver will get the nod for the Sycamores. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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