TAMPA, Fla. – The University of South Florida baseball team dropped the final game of the three-game series to the Indiana State Sycamores, 6-4, Sunday afternoon at Red McEwen Field.
“We didn’t do a very good job offensively and we paid for it today,” said head coach Lelo Prado. “Our schedule is only going to get tougher and we cannot be satisfied winning two of three games.”
The loss drops the Bulls to 2-1 on the season while the Sycamores improve to 1-2.
Freshman Randy Fontanez was a solid starter for USF, pitching five innings, giving up one run while scattering four hits and striking out one, but did not factor in the decision.
“Randy is a freshman and you’ve got to like what you see with him,” added Prado. “It’s a matter of those young guys like Fontanez gaining experience. We have a lot of those young guys and they’re going to be great pitchers for us.”
USF opened the game in the bottom of the first when junior Brian Hobbs doubled to the gap in right center, scoring sophomore shortstop Addison Maruszak, who reached base on a single to left earlier in the inning.
USF got back on the board in the sixth when Hobbs, who doubled to the right field wall in the previous at-bat, scored on a Corey Johnson double to cut the ISU lead to two runs.
Hobbs doubled one more time on the afternoon, going 3-of-4 with a run and one RBI.
The Green and Gold put up two more in the seventh but they couldn’t stop ISU, who scored runs in each of the final two innings to secure the 6-4 victory.
ISU pitcher Micah Spencer earned the win, tossing six innings, giving up seven hits and striking out seven to earn his first victory of the season.
USF freshman Derrick Stultz took the loss for the Bulls bringing his record to 0-1 on the year. Stultz pitched 3.1 innings striking out three and allowing two runs from four hits.
Maruszak extended his hit streak to three games, going 3-of-5 at the plate with three singles, raising his season batting average to a team-high .538.
The Bulls out-hit the Sycamores over the three-game series 30-24 and had three more extra-base hits (9-6).
The Bulls will return to Red McEwen Field on Thursday, Feb. 28 when they face the Oklahoma State Cowboys at 7 p.m.
Season tickets are still available for Bulls baseball, and can be purchased by calling 1-800-GoBulls. Season tickets can be bought in three levels, the $100 family pack (two adults and two children), a single adult ($50) and a single youth/senior ($20). Extra adult and children’s tickets can be added to the family pack for $50 and $20, respectively.