DeLand - Jimmy Falla ripped a two-run double to left center to break a 2-2 tie in the 13th inning and help No. 28 USF to a four-run frame and a 6-2 win over Stetson at Melching Field.
For the second time in the last three games, USF (23-14, 7-2) needed to navigate through extra innings to get a win. The victory extends the Bulls win streak to nine-straight games. The Bulls are now 3-4 in extra innings this season. The win is the first for USF as a ranked team since 2009.
James Ramsay had a big night, going 3-6 with a run scored. Senior Chris Norton provided a punch for the Bulls offense, going 3-7 and driving in two runs.
Sophomore right-hander Mike Clarkson started for the second time against Stetson this season and excelled. The Bulls' righty threw 5.2 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits while walking two and striking out one.
After taking a 6-2 lead, USF's Adrian Puig stayed in the ball game to finish off the Hatters, working a perfect 1-2-3 frame and securing the victory.
The 13th innings was the difference for the Bulls. Shortstop Kyle Teaf and senior Alex Mendez walked to start the inning. Ramsay loaded the bases with an infield single to third base. Falla broke the 2-2 tie with a 2-RBI double to left center field, plating Teaf and Mendez. Norton followed with a single to right to score Ramsay, Falla followed after a fielding error by Hatters right fielder Robert Bruce.
Both teams had their chances in extra innings. USF left a runner on base in every extra-inning until finally breaking through. Stetson (17-21) was a bit unlucky; the Hatters grounded into inning ending double plays with the winning run on base in each the 11th and 12th innings.
Janick Serrallonga relieved Clarkson to finish the sixth inning, but got in to trouble in the seventh. Stetson's Rasmussen pinch hit and drove a one-out single to left field. Ta Blackman followed with a walk to put runners at first and second. Jordan Strittmatter came in to pitch for Serrallongato face Stetson's McCormick. With McCormick at the plate, Blackman and Rasmussen advanced on a wild pitch. McCormick tied up the game a few pitches later with a 2-RBI single to left field.
After allowing the two runs in the seventh, the USF bullpen threw 6.1 scoreless innings to give the offense enough time to break through and take the lead. Next up, the Bulls get back to Big East play and travel to Storrs, CT to play the Connecticut Huskies. USF will play three games in Connecticut before finishing out its four-game road trip at the University of Florida on April 23rd.