USF finished their road trip in New Orleans this weekend and were handed their eighth straight loss of the season. With one of the toughest preseason schedules in the nation, the Dons are struggling to match up against their competitors.
Despite the effort of junior pitcher Anthony Shew who pitched eight scoreless innings of two-hit ball, the Dons were unable to put any runs on the board throughout the game. Going into the ninth, Dons’ reliever Anthony Buonopane was handed the ball to try and take the game into extra innings. After walking two and giving up a knock, Head Coach Giarratano brought in the right-handed Logan West to handle the agonizing situation. West eventually walked the winning run to the plate and sent Tulane home with a thrilling 1-0 victory. “We had two outs and we walked three straight,” said Giarratano. “We just didn’t give ourselves a chance.”
On Friday came another thriller, ending with a disappointing one-run deficit. USF’s Christian Cecilio threw another gem, but the Dons’ bullpen was unable to hold the lead. Tulane was able to pull off an extra inning comeback and beat the Dons 3-2. With a one-run lead and two outs in the ninth, USF’s Matt Narahara gave up a deep solo homerun to Tulane’s designated hitter Williams to tie the game at two. Going into the eleventh, Narahara put two runners on base and was pulled, replaced by Mack Meyer who walked the first batter to load the bases and threw a wild pitch to seal the loss for the Dons. This gave the Dons their seventh straight loss of the season, and was quite possibly the most painful.
The Dons put up a battle on the final game of the road trip, putting up three runs in the final three innings but fell short to Tulane with a score of 5-3. Jack Hall came up clutch off the bench with two doubles, scoring twice. Cody Snider also proved vital off the bench with a double and an RBI. “We played hard, we stayed with it,” San Francisco head coach Nino Giarratano said. “The bench was ready to play,” Giarratano said. “It’s nice to have those guys. We just have to find the consistency with our offense and it’s keeping us from scoring runs.” Five of USF’s eight losses have come from a one or two run deficit and this past weekend proved true to that trend.
Tulane completed the three game sweep of the Dons on Sunday and handed USF its worst start to the season in over ten years.
With the preseason coming to a close and the WCC starting up next week, the Dons must have a short memory and set their sights on the regular season.
Photo Credit: Courtesy OF NOLA.COM