March 3, 2001
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (3/3/01) – Senior righthander John Vique turned in a stellar complete-game effort while the South Florida offense delivered two runs in the eighth and three more in the ninth, as the Bulls defeated 10th-ranked Notre Dame, 6-1, in Devil Rays College Invitational action Saturday at Florida Power Park.
Notre Dame (6-2)-which played without injured leading hitter Brian Stavisky for the third straight game-managed just five hits while seeing its six-game winning streak come to an end. The loss spoiled another strong effort >from senior righthander Danny Tamayo, who had no decision after allowing one run on four hits and two walks over seven innings (with four strikeouts).
The Irish entered the day with a .333 team batting average but failed to generate hits from the heart of the order, as the No. 3-8 batters combined to collect just one hit in 18 at-bats (with the lone hit coming on a routine flyball that was lost in the lights and ruled a double).
Vique (1-1)-who won 10 games a year ago-kept the Irish at bay during his 95-pitch outing, with the Irish sending just 31 batters to the plate (four above the minimum). Vique totaled just two strikeouts but held Notre Dame to five hits and two walks, with double plays in the first and fifth innings and another runner thrown out on the bases in the seventh.
The game marked the first-ever meeting between USF and Notre Dame, which also played Florida Atlantic for the first time on Friday (the Irish now have faced 271 all-time opponents).
USF (7-6) claimed an early 1-0 lead in the second, after Daniel Boyd doubled down the leftfield line and scored on Ben Drawdys two-out single up the middle.
The Irish were poised to tie the game in the fourth, with runners on first and second, but Vique induced a flyout from Alec Porzel and rolled up a double-play ball off the bat of cleanup hitter Paul OToole to get out of the inning.
Notre Dame tied the game in the seventh, sparked by Steve Sollmanns leadoff bunt to the left side and Porzels flyball that was lost in the lights by the leftfielder Boyd. O’ Toole then walked on five pitches before Joe Thamans one-out flyout to right plated fellow freshman Sollmann (Porzel hustled to third on the play but OToole was thrown out trying to take second).
USF touched sophomore righthander J.P. Gagne (0-1) for seven hits and five runs in the final two innings. Mike Macaluso reached on a fluke to open the eighth, when his popup fell just out of the reach of Gagne and charging third baseman Ben Cooke. Mike Cunningham bunted the go-ahead runner to second and Myron Leslie followed with a single through the right side, with the run scoring after OToole bobbled the ball in right field. Mike Eylward added a two-out single for a 3-1 cushion.
Notre Dame nearly jumped back in the game in the bottom of the eighth, but a series of timely defensive moves payed dividends for USF. Bill Nahordodny moved >from right to left field and promptly tracked down Andrew Busheys foul ball up against the fence before new second baseman Justin Holmes snared a rocket shot off the bat of Matt Strickroth.
The Bulls three-run ninth included a two-run double down the rightfield line by the rookie sensation Leslie, who leads USF with a .440 season batting average.
Tamayo lowered his season ERA to 1.50, with the starting three-man rotation now owning an eye-popping 1.47 season ERA (Aaron Heilman 0.86, Matt Buchmeier 2.70).