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Gulf Coast, TCU, Troy, VCU, and Hofstra pick up wins



Florida Gulf Coast 5 South Florida 4

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of South Florida baseball team fell, 5-4, Tuesday night to the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles at Red McEwen Field.

The Bulls’ record drops to 3-4, while the Eagles improve to 8-1.

USF’s offensive attack came in the first two innings after falling behind by two after the top of the first. Redshirt freshman Ryan Lockwood spearheaded the Bulls’ offensive charge with a lead-off walk. Junior counterparts Brandon Smith and Addison Maruszak followed with a walk and a hit by pitch to fill the bases. Junior Trey Manz then hit a one-out sac fly to score Lockwood and put the Bulls on the board.

In the second inning the Bulls added two more runs, starting with a line-drive single down the right field line by freshman Jonathan Kocsco. Lockwood and Smith then added an RBI apiece with a double each.

The Bulls struck again in the eighth, placing one run on the board. USF scored off of a sacrifice hit from junior Chris Rey, which scored Maruszak from third base.

In the bottom of the ninth, USF lead off with a single up the middle from Koscso and a bunt by senior Charles Cleveland. The Bulls had runners on first and second with no outs but could not advance anyone across home for the one run needed to take the game into extra innings.

The Bulls’ pitching did another superb job of finding the strike zone. The USF pitching staff combined for 83 strikes and six strikeouts.

Freshman Zach Pietrzyk had a great outing out of the pen in the seventh, shutting down the Eagles’ offensive attack. Pietrzyk threw two innings of relief allowing no hits or runs. Jesuit HS graduate Stephen Hunt threw the ninth inning, striking out one of two and allowing no runs or hits. With two outs in the ninth, sophomore Shawn Sanford came in with a runner on first and struck out his first batter faced to end the inning.

The Bulls go on to face the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Bulls then finish their week with a three-game set against Savannah State at home in Tampa.

TCU 3 UT-Arlington 2

FORT WORTH, Texas – Tied at two in the bottom of the ninth, the TCU Horned Frogs loaded the bases and Matt Carpenter delivered the game-winning hit to help the Frogs defeat UT-Arlington, 3-2 Tuesday night at Lupton Stadium. An outstanding performance on the mound by Sean Hoelscher helped the Frogs secure their fourth victory as he tossed seven scoreless innings in his first career start.

After surrendering two runs in the top of the ninth, the Horned Frogs wasted no time reclaiming the momentum as they loaded the bases with just one out. Steve Ellington worked a full count walk to lead off the inning. Pinch runner Brett Medlin moved to second on a Clint Arnold sacrifice setting up the intentional walk to Ben Carruthers.

Matthew Otteman came on in relief of Marcus Limon (0-2) and walked Matt Vern to load the bases. Carpenter delivered the clutch single, driving the ball through a drawn-in infield and into right field to give the Frogs the 3-2 victory.

The Frogs ninth-inning heroics were necessary after the Mavericks had battled back to tie the game in the top of the ninth. Jeff Storms was hit by the pitch to lead off the inning and scored on a one-out double from Otteman. After a walk and a wild pitch put runners on the corners, Danny Slinkman tied the game with a single down the left field line. Andrew Cashner (2-0) was able to work out of the jam, striking out the final two batters in the inning to set up the bottom half.

Hoelscher had dominated up to that point in the game as he faced the minimum through 5 2/3 innings. He had allowed just two singles, but both runners were erased by Bryan Holaday when they attempted to steal a base. Two two-out singles in the sixth by the Mavericks went by the wayside as Hoelscher froze Otteman at the plate to end the inning. He finished the night with seven innings pitched, four hits, no walks and seven strikeouts.

The TCU offense managed to scratch across two runs, but left seven men stranded through the first five innings. In the second, Bryan Kervin drew a one out walk and moved to second on a Holaday two-out single. Steve Ellington continued his hot streak, singling through the right side to plate the first run of the game.

Another run in the fourth pushed the lead to 2-0. Aaron Schultz tallied his first career double to lead off the inning and came around to score on a Holaday triple to right field. Maverick relief pitcher Matt Dunn was able to get out of the runner on third with no outs jam to keep it a 2-0 contest.

Neither team mustered much offense the rest of the way until the ninth inning. Hoelscher gave way to Trent Appleby in the eighth inning who retired all three batters he faced on ground balls to Kervin at short. TCU had another bases loaded situation with one out in the sixth, but again came up empty.

The Frogs improve to 4-4 on the season. They will return to the diamond Wednesday night when they host Texas State at 6:30 p.m. Paul Gerrish is slated to make his second start of the season.

Troy 5 Alabama 4

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – For the second straight season the Troy Trojans needed extra innings to defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide, this time 5-4 in 10 innings at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery.

Shohei Fujita, who entered the game as a pinch runner, ripped a bases-loaded one-out single to left field to score Daniel Porter with the winning run. A.J. Howard, who worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top half of the inning, earned his second victory of the season. Josh Copeland, who came in for Austin Hyatt in the ninth, was the loser.

Alabama struck first with two runs on three hits in the top of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. May drew a lead off walk and scored on Bentley’s double into the right field corner. After Matthes popped up to center field, Rhoden slapped a single up the middle to score Bentley from second base and give UA a 2-0 lead. Smith followed with a single and after Kubal flied out, Rutledge walked to load the bases. Wilson flied out to the deepest part of the park in left-center as UA left the bases loaded.

Troy scored single runs in the second and third inning to tie the game at 2-2. In the second, Lance Miller reached on a leadoff single and moved to third on Bart Pettus’ double to right-center field. Adam Bryant grounded out to Josh Rutledge to score Miller from third base. In the third, Troy put four consecutive runners on base with two outs to tie the game. Beau Brooks reached on a two-out double and later scored on a throwing error by UA second baseman Ross Wilson.

Alabama regained the lead in the top of the sixth inning when Kubal reached on an error by Troy shortstop Bart Pettus and later scored on an infield ground out by Rutledge to give the Tide a 3-2 lead.

Troy immediately tied the game in the bottom of the sixth when Michael Percise slammed the first pitch of the inning over the wall in left field into the teeth of 28 mile per hour wind to tie the game at 3-3.

The Crimson Tide took a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth inning when Matthes slammed his first home run of the season over the right field wall.

The Trojans tied the game in the bottom of the inning on three straight one-out singles by Precise, Pettus and Adam Bryant. Bryant’s infield single scored pinch-runner Daniel Peterson from third base, but Pettus was picked off at second base on a heads up play by Rutledge at shortstop.

Alabama and Troy concludes this two-game series with a 6:30 p.m. (CDT) game on Wednesday, March 5, at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide drops to 3-5 on the season while the Trojans improve to 9-1.

VCU 5 Liberty 4

Richmond, Va. – After the Liberty Flames rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 4-3 lead, the VCU Rams plated two runs in the bottom of the frame for a 5-4 victory, Tuesday afternoon, at the Diamond.

With its first road setback of 2008, Liberty drops to 6-2. VCU moves to 2-6. Both Flame losses have come by one run this season.

Trailing 3-0, Liberty battled back to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth inning. P.K. Keller (Sr., RF, Clearwater, Fla.) began the uprising with a lead-off home run, his second of the year. After a VCU pitching change, Aaron Grijalva (Sr., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) and Doug Bream (Fr., LF, Elizabethtown, Pa.) reached on back-to-back singles and advanced into scoring position on a balk. Two batters later, Cody Brown (Jr., 3B, Boca Raton, Fla.) lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Grijalva and slice the Ram edge to 3-2.

The next two Liberty batters walked to load the bases with two outs. Catcher Errol Hollinger (Jr., C. Upland, Calif.) then lined a two-run single to left field to give the Flames a 4-3 advantage.

In the bottom of the inning, Matt Leskiw singled to open the frame and later scored on a single by Kwane Evans to knot the contest at 4-4. Evans then advanced to second base and third base on a pair of wild pitches. Shortstop Chris Jackson followed with a single to center, scoring Evans and giving VCU a 5-4 victory.

Liberty reliever Dustin Merger (Jr., RHP, Hummelstown, Pa.) moves to 1-1 on the season. The right-hander, the last of three Flame hurlers in the contest, allowed two runs on four hits and intentionally walked a batter in his 1 1/3 innings of work.

VCU reliever Darryl Springfield moves to 1-0 on the season. He yielded three runs on three hits and walked two batters, while working the ninth frame. Ram starter Ian Thomas pitched eight innings, allowing one run and scattering eight hits.

The host Rams used back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. With two out, Kwan Evans doubled to the wall in left field and scored on a double into the left field corner by Jared Bolden.

VCU added to its advantage with a single run in the second inning. The designated hitter, R. J. Shenk, led off the frame with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Carlos Rodriguez followed with a double to left to plate Shenk for a 2-0 advantage.

The homestanding Rams extended their lead by scoring a single run for the third-consecutive frame. With one out, Evans walked and later scored on a two-out RBI single by Shenk, making it 3-0, VCU.

Liberty threatened in the fourth inning. Garrett Young (Sr., DH, Fountain Valley, Calif.) doubled to open the frame and advanced to third with two out. However, an outstanding catch by VCU left fielder Matt Leskiw on a liner above his head by Bream prevented the Flames from getting on the scoreboard and ended the inning.

Grijalva, Hollinger, Keller and Young each had two of Liberty’s 11 hits. Evans paced the Rams with three hits.

Liberty returns home to Worthington Stadium tomorrow to host the Old Dominion Monarchs. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

Hofstra 4 Long Island 3

Hempstead, NY- Junior pitcher Rob DiFalco (Massapequa, NY) came on in relief in the top of the seventh inning and escaped a bases loaded, no out jam to earn his first save of the season as the Pride defeated Long Island University, 4-3, Tuesday afternoon in a game called after 6 ½ innings due to darkness. The Pride improve to 2-3 with their second straight win, while Long Island falls to 0-5.

The Blackbirds got on the board first with a run in the top of the first with a two-out rally as Frank DiMasi was hit by a pitch and stole second. James Jones, who started on the mound for LIU, then helped his own cause with a RBI single to center.

The Pride answered back with two runs of their own in the home half of the inning. Leadoff hitter Chris Mentrasti (Hartsdale, NY) singled and moved to second on an infield single by Tom Legregni (Paramus, NJ). After Jones struck out the next two batters, designated hitter Anthony Sarno (Avenel, NJ) drew a walk to load the bases. Centerfielder Nick Panzarella (Three Bridges, NJ) then singled to center to drive in two and give the Pride a 2-1 lead.

Long Island went ahead in the third as George Tingos and DiMasi had back to back singles and Jones drove in a run when he reached on an error to know the score, 2-2. The Blackbirds would go on top, 3-2, when DiMasi scored on a fielder’s choice ground out by John Neckar.

The Pride responded in the fourth inning with two runs to take a 4-3 lead as Panzarella hit a dribbler back to Jones on the mound, but the throw to first got away and Panzarella raced to third. After a walk to Dave Cole (Teaneck, NJ), Mentrasti singled home Panzarella to tie the score. The winning run would score when Cole and Mentrasti executed a double steal on a pitch that wound up at the backstop on a passed ball, allowing Cole to cross the plate.

The Blackbirds got to starter Ryan Radke (Frankfort, IL) in the seventh, loading the bases on an error, a walk and an infield single. But DiFalco induced a fielder’s choice groundout that forced out a run at home, struck out DiMasi swinging and got Jones to ground out to second and escape unscathed.

Radke (1-0) earned the win, scattering four hits and four walks over six innings and allowing three earned runs. Mentrasti and Legregni each went two-for-three with a run scored for the Pride, while Panzarella was one-for-three with two RBIs.

Jones took the loss for LIU, allowing five hits, four runs (two earned) and three walks over 3 2/3 innings. He also struck out five batters.

The Pride is next in action on Wednesday, March 5, when they travel to Seton Hall for a 3:30 p.m. game.

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