Brazeal's Walk-Off Bomb Gives USF First Win
With one down in the ninth, Brazeal squared up a 2-0 change-up, sending it deep into the Tampa night. The walk-off homer is the first by a Bull since 2009, when then-sophomore Jonathan Koscso hit a solo shot to beat Pittsburgh in extra innings. It was the first homer of the season for Brazeal and his first since May 7 of last season against St. John's.
Senior starter Andrew Barbosa was stellar on the mound for the Bulls, but left the game with tightness in his pitching forearm after four-plus innings of work.
Barbosa opened the game by striking out the side in the first and five of the first seven he faced. He would go on to strike out eight on the evening and allowed just two hits.
Elon reached Barbosa for two unearned runs in the fourth. With two outs and the bases loaded, designated hitter Sebastian Gomez's two-run single gave Elon the 2-0 lead, two batters after Sam Mende's throwing error prolonged the inning.
With Barbosa out, the USF bullpen stepped up in a big way, pitching five scoreless innings, keeping the Bulls within striking distance while the offense found its stride.
Senior Kyle Eastham came into the game to replace Barbosa and was superb in relief, throwing 4.0 scoreless innings, while allowing just one hit and striking out three.
USF cut the Elon lead to 2-1 on junior Luis Llerena's RBI single in the fifth inning to score senior Junior Carlin, who walked to lead-off the inning.
The Bulls then evened the game in the seventh on an RBI single by sophomore Chad Taylor scoring Brazeal, who singled earlier in the frame.
After retiring seven of the last nine batters he faced, Eastham gave way to senior Zack Pietrzyk. Pietrzyk continued his strong 2011 season by working a perfect ninth, striking out one. His effort was good enough to pick up his first win of the season.
USF will look to take the series in the rubber match tomorrow with the first pitch coming at 1 p.m. The Bulls will send freshman LHP Nick Gonzalez to the mound. Game Notes
Tonight’s attendance was 2,161 … USF out hit Elon, 5-3, marking the second time USF has out hit the opposition this season … By going 0-for-4, Daniel Rockhold's seve-game hit streak was stopped … Jonathan Koscso was hit by a pitch for the 57th time in his career … Eight strikeouts by Andrew Barsbosa is the most by a USF pitcher in a single game this season … It is the eighth time in his career that Barbosa has had eight or more punch-outs.