TAMPA, Fla. — Sparked by Baron Stuart's solid start, five USF pitchers combined for a two-hitter as head coach Billy Mohl's Bulls made a statement with a 6-1 win over No. 5 Florida on Tuesday night.
A loud crowd of 2,363 at USF Baseball Stadium watched the Bulls (3-1) become the second American Athletic Conference team in as many weeks to upset a top-five team. It marked USF's first win over Florida (3-1) since 2017 and the feat was accomplished in the Gators' first visit to Tampa since 2015.
Stuart (1-0) boosted the Bulls early by fanning six in four hitless innings while USF's staff racked up 13 strikeouts and limited Florida to one run, its fewest runs in the series since 1994. Left-hander Logan Lyle struck out four in two innings of relief, including three straight batters in the seventh to get out of a jam with runners on the corners. Nelson Alvarez put the finishing touches on the huge win by striking out the final batter in a one-two-three ninth.
USF's bats brought the support right away during a two-run first that was capped off by Austin Bodrato's RBI single. Joe Genord drove in the Bulls' first run and made even more noise with a solo homer in the third that extended the lead to 3-0 on his 2-for-4 night at the plate. Florida didn't get its first hit until the sixth inning and stranded 12 runners.
Kyle Phillips went 3-for-4 and put the finishing touches on USF's three-run seventh with a two-run double. Chris Chatfield started the scoring in the frame with a leadoff solo homer that gave the Bulls a quick answer after Florida scored its lone run in the sixth.
- 2 – Five USF pitchers combined to throw a two-hitter.
- 12 – USF produced a season high 12 hits while Kyle Phillips led the way with a 3-for-4 performance.
- 13 – The Bulls' staff racked up 13 strikeouts, including six by starter Baron Stuart.
- Tuesday marked USF's first win over Florida since a 15-10 victory in Gainesville on May 9, 2017.
- The Bulls have defeated Florida 17 times out of 39 series games in Tampa. USF's last victory over Florida in Tampa was back in 2005.
- USF gave up its fewest runs against Florida since all the way back in 1994, when the Gators were shut out.
- USF is 3-1 in its last four regular season games against top-five teams. Two wins came against the Gators and the Bulls defeated then-No. 3 Florida State on Feb. 21, 2017.
- Up Next: USF continues its tough stretch with a three-game road series at No. 6 North Carolina that begins Friday at 3 p.m. in Chapel Hill.