The Bulls, 20-22 (5-8), won 4 to 0 over Central Florida in the series opener. The offense did enough and Phoenix Sanders struck out 12 batters to cap off the solid victory for the Bulls.
In the first, USF struck first after Luke Maglich doubled, allowing Duke Stunkel to score, making it 1 to 0 early. In the 2nd, the Bulls added another with an RBI single from Kevin Merrell to make it 2 to 0. In the 5th, Duke Stunkel hit an RBI triple to make it 3 to 0 in the game. He then came home on an RBI single from Maglich to make it 4 to 0. That would be it for the offense on either side but it was more than enough for the Bulls as the staff collected 15 strike outs in this game.
Kevin Merrell (glad to see him out there) was 2 for 3 with an RBI and scored a run. Duke Stunkel was 2 for 3 with an RBI and scored 2 runs in the game. Luke Maglich was 2 for 3 with an RBI, drew a walk and stole a base. Garrett Zech was 1 for 3 with a run scored and drew a walk. The offense got it done and we can not ask for any more.
Phoenix Sanders (5-3) went 8 innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 walk and struck out a career high 12 batters. Sanders had a dominating performance this year, working out of trouble a few times and piling up the strike out total. He was the reason the Bulls won this game. Tommy Eveld went the final inning, striking out all 3 batters. It was all pitching in this game tonight.
The two sides will battle tomorrow again at 6:30 PM as USF looks to take the series and inch closer to .500 while moving up the AAC standings. Still plenty of games left to go in conference play, but its one game at a time no matter how cliche that sounds. It’s just the truth.