USF will play in its third regional final on Sunday at 6 p.m., first since 2002.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (June 6, 2021) – The University of South Florida Bulls (30-27) have reached the NCAA Regional finals for the third time in program history after a dominant 10-2 victory over the University of Miami (33-20) on Saturday night.
South Florida will enter Sunday’s regional finals one win away from the program’s first-ever NCAA Super Regional appearance.
The No. 4 seeded Bulls in the Gainesville Regional have dispatched of No. 1 seed Florida and No. 2 seed Miami on consecutive nights to reach the finals for the first time since 2002. USF is in the driver’s seat and operating out of the winner’s bracket for the first time in three total trips to the regional finals.
Playing as the home team in a contest for the first time in two weeks, USF broke the scoring seal on a sacrifice fly by Jake Sullivan (Tampa). Miami answered with a run in the top of the second to even the score at 1-1 where the score remained until the fourth frame.
The Bulls hung a crooked number on the Hurricanes in the fourth, scoring five runs in an inning that was disrupted by an hour and 22-minute rain delay.
Nelson Rivera (Toa Alto, Puerto Rico) and Nick Gonzalez (Tampa) started the scoring barrage with RBI-singles, and with rain beginning to fall, Carmine Lane (Lake Placid) drew a walk to load the bases. The drizzle quickly turned into a downpour during Riley Hogan’s (Orlando) at-bat, but the veteran slugger was not deterred and blasted a two-run double off the fence in left-center field before umpires called for the tarp.
After sitting through their second rain delay in as many games, the Bulls responded in the same fashion as they had on Friday, by adding one more run to their lead for a 6-1 advantage.
Logan Lyle (Bartow) took over on the mound after the rain delay and gave USF three strong innings of work out of the bullpen and eventually earned his fifth win of the season. The veteran southpaw yielded just one unearned run in the top of the seventh inning.
Offensively, the Bulls refused to take their foot off the gas and plated two more runs in the fifth, and single tallies in the seventh and eighth innings.
Rivera recorded run-scoring hits in the fifth and seventh frames to conclude his night at the plate 3-for-4 with a career-high three RBI.
- The Bulls are one win away from the program’s first-ever NCAA Super Regional berth.
- The win stands as USF’s first postseason victory over Miami in program history (0-2 previously).
- The Bulls defeated the Hurricanes for the first time overall since March 1, 2011 (4-2 in Tampa).
- USF has won its first two regional games under the current NCAA format in program history.
- The Bulls are just the seventh regional No. 4 seed to win its first two games under the current NCAA format and first since 2017 (Davidson).
- USF becomes just the sixth regional No. 4 seed to defeat the top two regional seeds under the current NCAA format and first since 2017 (Davidson).
- Collin Sullivan (Randolph, Mass.) earned a no decision in his start against Miami. The redshirt senior allowed one run on four hits over 4.0 IP and struck out four. Sullivan’s 273 career strikeouts rank sixth in program history.
- Joseph Sanchez (Miami) tossed two scoreless innings and struck out two batters to close the game on Saturday.
- Hogan is batting .368 (7-19) with four extra-base hits and seven RBI over his last five games.
- Rivera is batting .353 (12-34) with three doubles and seven RBI over his last 10 games.
- The Bulls have won 13 of their last 18 games, and eight of their last nine.
- USF has outscored its opponents, 57-15, over its last eight wins.
Miami and South Alabama will play an elimination game on Sunday at 12 p.m. The winner of that game will advance to face South Florida at 6 p.m. in the regional finals. A USF loss in Sunday night’s game would set up a rematch between the Bulls and that same team on Monday at 1 p.m. The Bulls need just one win to punch their ticket to the NCAA Super Regionals.
About USF Baseball
The USF Baseball program played its first season in 1966 and is entering its 56th season in 2021. The Bulls have won 1,628 games entering the 2021 season and made 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, including three since 2015. The Bulls have won four conference tournament titles (3 Sun Belt and 1 Metro) and had 126 all-conference selections. USF baseball players have been recognized with All-America honors 12 times, most recently with third baseman David Villar in 2018. Four players were selected in the 2018 MLB Draft, including the program’s fourth first round selection in pitcher Shane McClanahan, who appeared in the 2020 World Series with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Bulls saw continued success in head coach Billy Mohl’s first season in 2018, reaching 36 wins, advancing to the semifinals of the conference tournament for the first time since 2012, and making the program’s latest NCAA Tournament appearance while also achieving a ranking in multiple polls for the final two months of the season.
– #GoBulls –