Savannah State (3-6) chipped away at the deficit in the top of the fourth against USF starter Derrick Stultz (2-0). Dan Oglesby reached on an error, followed by infield singles from Todd Hagen and Chris Arnold, loading the bases. Julius Green knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-1.
USF would get the run back in the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run from James Ramsay, giving USF a 7-1 lead.
USF increased their lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring five runs highlighted by five straight USF hits. The Bulls led 12-1 after six.
Austin Adams relieved Derrick Stultz in the top of the seventh inning. Adams threw a scoreless inning, striking out one.
Janick Serrallonga relieved Adams in the eighth.
The Tigers would not go quietly, scoring a run in the top of the eighth when Joseph McCrary knocked in Todd Hagen after a double, cutting the Bulls’ lead to 12-2.
USF would answer with two runs in in the bottom of the eighth, adding to their lead, making it 14-2.
Savannah State had more fight in them. Uriah Virgo walked to open the ninth inning and pinch hitter Dychal Bowles hit a two-run homer to left, but that was all the Tigers could get. Serrallonga struck out Hagen to end the game, giving the Bulls their second home win of the season.
Savannah State got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning in game two. Julius Green reached base after being hit by a pitch and followed by base hits from Kevin Herlihy and Michael McHugh, loading the bases. Dychal Bowles knocked in two runs with base hit to right-center field off USF starter Joey Lovecchio (2-0), giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
The Bulls responded in the bottom of the third. After Kyle Teaf reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second base, Llerena doubled off Tiger Starter Andrew Garren to put runners on second and third. Mendez followed with an RBI single and Chad Taylor followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Teaf and Mendez scored on a throwing error by Tiger right fielder Bubba Green. The Bulls led 3-2 after three innings.
The Bulls extended their lead in the fourth when Rockhold led off with a double, Buddy Putnam and Teaf walked and Llerena grounded into an RBI fielder’s choice to give USF a 4-2 advantage.
The Bulls were far from finished, putting up another run in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead.
Savannah State struck back in the top of the sixth inning, getting a solo home run from Green, cutting the USF lead to 5-3.
USF put two more on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Teaf led off the frame with a double, followed by an RBI double by Lllerena. Tigers reliever Courtrevez McTier committed a throwing error on a Mendez bunt attempt, allowing Llerena to score and Mendez to go to second. Mendez went to third on an errant pitch and James Ramsay knocked in the Bulls’ left fielder on an RBI ground out to push the Bulls’ lead to 7-3.
Steven Leasure relieved Joey Lovecchio in the seventh inning. Lovecchio threw six innings, allowing three runs and set a new career high, fanning six batters.
The Tigers would score a run off Leasure, cutting the Bulls’ lead to 8-4.
Ray Delphee replaced Leasure after he was ejected for hitting Bubba Green in the eighth inning.
The Bulls blew the game wide open in the eighth, scoring seven runs highlighted by Mendez’s two out grand slam.
Delphee shut the door on the Tigers in the ninth, giving the Bulls the sweep of the double header.
USF will go for the sweep of the three game series Sunday afternoon at the USF Baseball Stadium at noon. Senior left-hander Andrew Barbosa is project to be the starter for USF. Savannah State’s starter has not been announced.