In the bottom of the ninth inning with one out and the bases loaded, Tulane reliever Patrick Duester struck out two straight South Florida batters to close out the Green Wave’s 9-4 victory Friday in Tampa, Florida.
South Florida (21-24, 6-10 American Athletic Conference) managed to surrender 15 total Green Wave batters in the series opener.
Tulane (29-14, 9-5) knocked in one run in the first inning and added two more in the second to take a 3-0 lead heading into the third.
The Bulls added their first run on an RBI single from Garrett Zech up the center gap and tallied another run as Luke Maglich sent his second home run of the season off the right field scoreboard, minimizing the Green Wave’s lead to 3-2.
In the fifth, Tulane’s Hunter Hope struck out with the bases loaded. The Bulls’ starting pitcher, Phoenix Sanders, was then backed by Kevin Merrell as he made a diving stop in the center of the infield to end the inning.
Saunders, though, was sent to the dugout in the fifth inning after allowing three runs and seven hits in a no decision performance.
Leading 3-2, Tulane extended the lead with a pair of runs in the sixth and then posted four runs in the eighth to increase the advantage.
Down to their final at-bat, the Bulls loaded the bases in the ninth but Green Wave reliever Patrick Duester got out of the jam to preserve the Tulane victory.
Eight Bulls players notched at least one hit.