Jake Sullivan drove in two runs and scored another in the Senior Day victory.
TAMPA (May 22, 2021) – The USF Bulls (24-26, 14-14 AAC) celebrated Senior Day with an 8-2 triumph over the No. 10-ranked East Carolina Pirates (38-13, 20-8 AAC) on Saturday to conclude the regular season.
After dropping both games of a doubleheader on Thursday, which saw the Pirates claim the conference championship, USF responded with back-to-back wins to wrap up the series and earn a series split.
Jake Sullivan (Tampa), one of 10 players honored during the pregame festivities, drove in the tying run in the first inning and the go-ahead run in the third frame, which stood as the game-winning run.
On the mound, fellow senior Baron Stuart (Okeechobee) was the winning pitcher in a strong starting effort. The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits and struck out three over 5.0 IP.
The Pirates got to Stuart for a pair of runs in the first inning, but were blanked for the remainder of the afternoon.
Stuart and Brad Lord (Crawfordville) combined to keep ECU hitless from the fourth through seventh innings. Lord earned his first save of the season after allowing just one hit over four innings of relief work.
Clinging to a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning, Jarrett Eaton (Mobile, Ala.) produced a clutch two-out single for an insurance run, and the Bulls added one more later in the frame on a Pirate error.
Nick Gonzalez (Tampa) blew the game open in the eighth inning with a two-out bases-clearing double to plate a trio of runs.
- Nelson Rivera (Toa Alto, Puerto Rico) had two hits on Saturday and batted .500 (7-for-14) in the series.
- The USF defense turned a season-high three double plays in the game.
- The Bulls handed ECU their first shutout of the season on Friday, and limited the Pirates to just two runs over the final two games of the series.
The Bulls will be the No. 6 seed in the upcoming American Championship Tournament and will face off against No. 3 seeded Wichita State. That game is slated for Tuesday, May 25, and will begin 47 minutes after the conclusion of the 4 p.m. contest. USF and WSU split their regular season four-game series in Wichita just two weeks ago.
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 –