Tampa Bay Sports Day

USF Baseball Season Ends With Tournament Loss to Memphis

CLEARWATER, Fla. – In a game that featured four ties and three lead changes, the University of South Florida baseball team (24-33) was defeated by Memphis 7-5 in the American Athletic Conference Tournament on Friday afternoon.

Designated hitter Luke Borders, infielder Kevin Merrell, and outfielder Duke Stunkel Jr.  all posted a season-high tying three hits each but it was a three run ninth inning for Memphis that decided the contest.

Both teams had opportunities to go ahead in the beginning innings but USF starter Phoenix Sanders and Memphis (21-38) pitcher Connor Alexander kept each opposition scoreless early on.

The Tigers nearly went ahead in the fifth but outfielder Luke Maglich caught a lineout and threw home to catcher Tyler Dietrich (Naples, Fla.), who tagged out Damo DeMatteo in a play at the plate.

The Bulls then secured the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Second baseman Coco Montes started the frame with a walk and Merrell followed with a bunt single. Each infielder then was plated on Borders’ two-run single to right field.

Down 2-0, Memphis then tied and took the lead in the sixth with a three run inning.

Trailing by one, USF deadlocked the game at three when the Bulls scored a run on a sixth inning throwing error. USF almost went ahead in the next inning but Borders was thrown out at the plate on a base hit to right, keeping the game three runs apiece.

The teams then swapped runs in the eighth with Memphis going ahead on an RBI double and USF tying the contest on a wild pitch in the bottom half.

The Tigers then pushed ahead with three runs in the ninth. The Bulls answered back with a run in the bottom of the inning but a double play ended the game.

Sanders threw 6.0 innings of three-run baseball in the no decision. It was his seventh quality start of the season. The loss goes to Clarkson (1-5), who yielded four runs in his 3.0 innings of work.

Maglich moved his on-base streak to 10 in his final collegiate game. Borders also upped his on-base streak to nine. Outfielder Garrett Zech  has hit safely in five straight games.