Baseball Knocks Off South Florida in Series Finale
March 18, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. - Thomas Dunleavy and Tim Lazor each pounded three hits, and Scott Kelleher and Andrew Ruck had two RBI apiece to lead the Lafayette baseball team past host South Florida 7-6 in Sunday's series finale. Derek Gussaroff earned the win on the mound.
With the win, the Leopards improve to 5-10-1. USF, which had won its previous five games, falls to 14-7.
Eight Leopards contributed to Lafayette's 14 hits, led by Dunleavy and Lazor. Kevin Casey and Brad Hopek had two hits apiece, and Kelleher, Ruck, Kevin McCarville and Andrew Santomauro each singled. Brian Davila did not register a hit but worked three walks and stole a base.
Hopek, Lazor and Santomauro all had RBI, in addition to the two runs driven in by Kelleher and Ruck.
Gussaroff (3-2) worked 2.1 innings of relief to record the victory. He allowed one run on three hits and three walks. The right-hander struck out two batters. Alex Farina, Jack Rems, Chris Boyce, Toby Schwartz and Jeff Snell finished the game, with Snell notching his fourth save of the spring.
Connor Ortolf started on the hill and threw two frames. The southpaw surrendered three earned runs on five hits and a walk.
Left-hander Matt Reed started and took the loss for USF. Reed (2-2) ceded four earned runs on nine hits and two walks over the first 4.2 innings. He struck out a batter and hit another.
The Bulls got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning. A single and a walk started the frame and a sacrifice bunt moved the runners into scoring position. Casey was able to knock down a groundball to second with a diving attempt but had no play as the game's first run came home. A bunt single - already South Florida's fourth infield hit of the afternoon - added another tally and a sacrifice fly increased the margin to 3-0. The Leopards got out of the inning on a double-steal attempt, as Davila gunned down a runner coming home with McCarville blocking the plate.
Dunleavy led off the top of the third inning with a double and took third with one out on an errant pickoff attempt. Santomauro launched a sacrifice fly to right field to bring Dunleavy home and cut the deficit to 3-1.
For the second time in the game, a Bulls' baserunner was cut down at the plate as Dunleavy preserved the 3-1 score in the fourth frame with a strike to McCarville from left field to end the inning.
After boosting the defense, Dunleavy started the offense once again with a base hit to lead off the top of the fifth inning. He moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by McCarville and took third on a Santomauro base hit. Hopek followed with a single to score Dunleavy and run the score to 3-2. After Casey worked a two-out walk to load the bases, Ruck drove a single to centerfield that put Lafayette on top, 4-3, and chased Reed from the game. Lazor greeted new hurler Adrian Puig with an RBI double to extend the Leopards' advantage to 5-3.
Lafayette added to its lead in the top of the sixth, started off with a McCarville single. A successful sacrifice bunt attempt by Santomauro resulted in an error that put runners on second and third with no outs, and Kelleher cashed in on the RBI opportunity with a two-run single up the middle past a drawn-in infield that extended the cushion to 7-4.
The Bulls inched closer with a run in the top of the eighth, but Boyce and Schwartz combined to close out the eighth with Lafayette holding a 7-5 lead.
The home team rallied in the bottom of the ninth inning, starting off with a walk. After Snell got a strikeout, an error put runners on first and second with one down. A single by Zack Gilcrease drove in the unearned run, but the Leopards' closer induced a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to shut the door on a 7-6 win.
Lafayette returns to College Hill this week to host Wagner on Wednesday, March 21 at 3 p.m. The Leopards then travel south to Philadelphia for the first half of a home-and-home doubleheader against Penn on Saturday, March 24. The Quakers come to Kamine Stadium on Sunday for two games, beginning at 12 noon.