Feb. 12, 2006
TAMPA, Fla. - South Florida scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to edge Northwestern 9-8 Sunday afternoon at Red McEwen Field in Tampa, Fla. Sophomore Antonio Mule was 4-for-5 in the game, which included a towering solo home run over a 20-foot centerfield fence. The loss drops NU's record to 1-2 this season.
The Bulls jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. USF used a leadoff double, a solo home run, took advantage of a Wildcat error and another single to score the three first-inning runs.
Northwestern answered the Bulls' three-spot with a pair of runs off the bat of freshman Tommy Finn (Valparaiso, Ind./Andrean). Finn lined a bases loaded single over the outstretched glove of the USF first baseman and into right field. Designated hitter Antonio Mule (Lodi, N.J./Lodi) and second baseman Jake Owens (Stevens Point, Wis./Pacelli) scored on the play. Both Mule and Owens singled in their at bats.
USF went ahead 4-2 when they scored an unearned run in the third inning off Wildcat starter Ryan Myers (Lake Villa, Ill./Carmel). Myers pitched five innings, gave up seven runs, five of which were earned. He struck out six and walked one.
NU took its first lead of the game with a four-run fourth inning. Catcher Pat McMahon (Mundelein, Ill./Carmel) laced a double to right centerfield that scored Stanley Finch (Lubbock, Texas/Cooper) and Caleb Fields (Oak Park, Ill./Fremd). Mule drove in two more runs, lining a single to center. McMahon and Wycklendt scored on Mule's hit.
South Florida got a run back in the bottom of the fourth. An unearned run crossed on an errant throw that would have ended the inning.
USF went right back at it in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring two runs and retake the lead 7-6. A walk and three singles allowed the runs to score.
Already 3-for-3 with two RBI in the game, Mule launched a solo home run over the center field fence. Mule's 400-plus foot round-tripper is the first of the season for Northwestern and tied the game 7-7.
The lead was short-lived.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, a leadoff single came around to score on a two-out single.
NU answered with a run of its own in the top half of the eighth as center fielder Aaron Newman (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) came around to score on a wild pitch. Newman was hit by a pitch, went to second on an error and moved to third on a fly ball to right field. Two pitches later, a new USF hurler uncorked a wild pitch to tie the score 8-8.
After a quick top half of the ninth inning, USF went right to work on Wildcat reliever Chris Davidson (Huntington Woods, Mich./Berkley). Davidson entered the game in the sixth inning and pitched three and two-third innings. He took the loss.
A leadoff double moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and was forced in on a bases-loaded, two-out walk to end the game.
Northwestern is back in action when they travel to Richmond, Va., to take on Virginia Commonwealth in a three-game series. Game one on Friday, February 19 is scheduled for 4 p.m. (ET)