Shockers drop slugfest to Bulls
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - n a game with a combined 19 runs and 32 hits, South Florida held off Wichita State's late charge for a 10-9 victory on Friday night at Eck Stadium.
The Shockers (27-21, 10-8) trailed 10-4 into the bottom of the seventh after a two-run homer from South Florida's Bobby Boser. Brock Rodden answered with a two-run shot off his own to cut the Bull's lead to 10-6, then WSU struck for three runs in the eighth to pull within one. Singles from Kyte McDonald, David Herring, and Mauricio Millan opened the inning, followed by run-scoring groundouts from Seth Stroh and Jack Little. USF brought on closer Riley Skeen, who was greeted with an RBI single from Chuck Ingram that pulled the Shockers within 10-9. Ingram stole second but was stranded there when Skeen struck out Rodden to end the inning.
Skeen set the Shockers down in order in the ninth to secure his sixth save.
South Florida (19-31, 7-12) used clutch two-out hitting to stake themselves to the six-run lead. Trailing 1-0 in the top of the second, the Bulls scratched across three runs after two outs and nobody on, getting RBI knocks from Jackson Mayo, Boser, and Drew Butcher for a 3-1 lead.
Payton Tolle cut the lead in half with a solo homer to start the third, his 11th long ball of the season. South Florida promptly restored the lead to two on an RBI single from Joaquin Monque in the fifth that made it 4-2.
The Shockers tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Little lined a run-scoring single and Garrett Pennington lifted a sacrifice fly to knot the score at 4-4.
The Bulls seized control with a four-run sixth, all with two outs. The big hit came courtesy of Rafael Betancourt, who lined a two-run triple past a diving McDonald in center. Betancourt finished with four extra-base hits on the night for South Florida, including three doubles and a triple.
Ingram matched Betancourt's four hits to lead Wichita State offensively, joining Rodden, Tolle, and Millan with multi-hit nights.
Jack Cebert (4-3) battled through 7.0 innings to earn the win for South Florida, allowing 11 hits and six runs. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.
Clark Candiotti (7-3) took the loss for Wichita State, allowing eight runs on 11 hits over 5.2 innings.
The Shockers and Bulls will finish the series on Saturday with a doubleheader. The first pitch of game one is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.