GREENVILLE, N.C. – The University of South Florida baseball team tallied 11 hits and the bullpen surrendered only one run across 5.2 innings to spearhead Sunday's 5-4 win over No. 7 East Carolina, clinching the weekend series.
The Bulls (23-13, 6-5 The American) again jumped out to a first inning lead on a Chris Chatfield double down the right field line, scoring Coco Montes and David Villar.
The Pirates (26-8, 5-3 The American) landed their first blow in the bottom of the third on a three-run homer by Jake Washer, making it 3-2. But USF answered, retaking the lead in the top of the fourth.
FINAL | STRIKE , BALLGAME! We win the last two and take the series against No. 7!!! #CultureWins pic.twitter.com/MjlBzZNiaN— USF Baseball (@USFBaseball) April 15, 2018
After a pair of singles put runners at the corners, Garrett Zech reached on a fielder's choice, allowing JD Dutka to score from third. A balk moved Zech to second and the speedster was brought home in the next at-bat, as Tyler Dietrich singled to shallow center, putting the Bulls up 4-3.
Following a 38 minute rain delay, USF added to the lead in the seventh on a solo home run that just made it over the right field wall off the bat of Villar. ECU got to within one, adding a run in the bottom of the eighth to make it 5-4. But Andrew Perez stymied the Pirates in the ninth, closing the door on the game and the series.
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Head coach Billy Mohl on the big series win after Friday's loss:
"I'm really proud of our guys this weekend and how they responded after Friday's loss. They did a great job of not letting the outside noise take away from the ultimate goal of winning a series. They were determined and brought real energy all weekend. It was a total team effort."
11 – USF had 11 hits, the 20th time it recorded double-digit hits this year.
14 – The four USF arms combined for 14 strikeouts.
7 – This is USF's seventh series win of the year.
5 – Perez picked up his fifth save of the year.
3 – The Bulls now have three wins over ranked teams, beating then-No. 6 UNC in the first game of the season in addition to the last two victories over No. 7 ECU.
- Chatfield went 2-for-4 with two RBI.
- Montes went 2-for-5 with a run and his 10th double of the season.
- Villar finished 2-for-3 with two runs, two walks and his seventh homer.
- Junior righty Alec Wisely (Jacksonville) came into the game in the fourth and pitched 2.2 innings, allowing only two hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
The Bulls return the Tampa for a Tuesday night matchup against UNF before the War on I-4 starts at home Friday at 7 p.m.