The Panthers jumped on Bulls starter Andrew Barbosa early. Caleb Howell drew a leadoff walk, and was sacrificed over to second by Nick Priessman. After a base hit from Ryan Dineen, Ben Thoma lifted a sacrifice fly to score Howell with the Panthers' first run of the series.
David Ciaglia, who had the Panthers' lone hit on Friday night, then singled to right to put Eastern Illinois up 2-0 before the Bulls came to bat.
In the second George Kalusek led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Tyler Schweigert. Brant Valach followed with a slow groundball to second, but Luis Llerena let it slip through his legs, allowing Kalousek to score on the error.
That made it 3-0 Panthers, and that was all they would need.
Slazinik struck out the side in the first and faced the minimum through three, before Alex Mendez opened the fourth with a single. Mendez advanced to second on a wild pitch, and moved to third on a groundout. James Ramsay then drew a five pitch walk to set up runners at the corners with just one down.
The Bulls could not cash in. Daniel Rockhold grounded the first pitch to short, starting the six-four-three double play to end the inning.
Barbosa (1-2) finished with a season-high six innings of work, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits in suffering the loss.
Slazinik (3-1) threw 104 pitches in eight shutdown innings. He permitted just the single to Mendez, along with three walks and one hit batsman.
The Bulls had an opportunity to get on the board in the ninth against reliever Adam Clark. Pinch-hitter Matt Hart led off with a routine fly ball to left which Ciaglia dropped, permitting Hart to cruise into second. Mendez was hit by a pitch to bring the tying run to the plate with nobody out.
Clark then set down Chad Taylor, Ramsay, and Rockhold in order to preserve the shutout and pick up his first save.
USF (9-6) will look to take the series on Sunday when they face off against the Panthers at 1p.m. for the rubber game of the three game set.