Rafael Betancourt homered and drove in four runs on Tuesday night.
DELAND (May 2, 2023) – The University of South Florida Bulls (18-28) surged out of the gates with six runs in the first inning on Tuesday night on their way to a 13-6 win at Stetson University (27-18).
South Florida opened its longest road swing of the season (seven games) by snapping a five-game skid and halting Stetson’s six-game winning streak. The Hatters entered the game with a 21-7 record on their home field.
Playing just 20 minutes from his hometown, freshman Rafael Betancourt (Deltona) homered and set a new career high with four RBI. His three-run blast was the biggest blow for the Bulls in the first inning against the Hatters.
Fellow freshman Eric Snow (Forsyth, Ga.) opened the scoring with an RBI-single. Drew Brutcher (Lakeland) followed with an RBI-double and Betancourt was next with a three-run home run as each of the first five USF batters reached base in the game. The Bulls eventually sent 12 men to the plate in the frame as Bobby Boser (Wesley Chapel) gave USF a 6-0 advantage on a run-scoring single.
The Hatters immediately cut their deficit in half, 6-3, in the bottom of the first inning with a trio of runs against Ethan Brown (Winter Garden), who made his first appearance since April 14th after being sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Justin Jackson (Naples) picked up the win in relief after holding Stetson to two runs on six hits with three strikeouts over 4.2 IP as the USF offense continued to put up runs.
The Bulls stretched their lead to 9-3 in the top of the fourth inning as Betancourt, Travis Sankovich (Uniontown, Pa.) and Joaquin Monque (Wetson) each drove in runs.
Boser launched his team-leading 13th home run in the top of the fifth to make it a 10-3 affair.
Stetson got a pair of runs back in the bottom of the fifth to cut the USF lead in half, 10-5, and had two runners in scoring position with a chance to make it a three-run game before Nolan Hudi (Safety Harbor) entered from the bullpen to record the final out of the inning.
Hudi allowed one run in the sixth inning and struck out two batters over 2.1 IP. Tanner Mink (Palm Harbor) and Riley Skeen (Pompano Beach) each tossed scoreless frames to seal the USF win.
Boser finished the night 2-for-4 with three RBI. Brutcher went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBI.
- Brutcher’s 11 doubles this season are a new career high. The junior is currently tied for seventh all-time in program history with 29 career home runs.
- Boser has belted 10 home runs over his last 19 games.
- The Bulls drew a season-high 11 walks in the ballgame on Tuesday night.
South Florida returns to conference play this weekend with a three-game series at Memphis on May 5-7.
About USF Baseball
The USF Baseball program played its first season in 1966 and is entering its 58th season in 2023 under head coach Billy Mohl (sixth season). The Bulls have made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, including four since 2015, and earned their first-ever Super Regional berth in 2021. USF was ranked in the Top 25 by five different publications in the final 2021 polls, checking in as high as No. 16. The Bulls have won five conference tournament titles (3 Sun Belt, 1 Metro and 1 American) and six regular season championships (3 Sun Belt, 2 Metro and 1 C-USA). USF baseball players have been recognized with All-America honors 12 times, most recently with third baseman David Villar in 2018, and 18 have earned Freshman All-America accolades, most recently Drew Brutcher and Carmine Lane in 2021. Four Bulls were selected in the 2022 MLB Draft. Former 2018 first-round selection, Shane McClanahan, became the program’s first-ever MLB All-Star in 2022 and was the starting pitcher for the American League.
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