DeLAND--Five Stetson pitchers combined to limit USF to four hits in leading the Hatters to a 2-1 win over the Bulls and a sweep of the mid-week series, Wednesday at Melching Field.
Sophomore lefthander Adam Schaly (1-1) earned the win by allowing just one run in 4.0 innings in his second start of the season. Relievers Josh Thorne, Garrison Banas, Trey Norris and Kevin Fagan, who made his first pitching appearance in almost a calendar year, combined to allow one unearned run on three hits over the final five innings.
“These are the days you expect to be high-scoring games, but our guys did a really nice job,” said Stetson head coach Pete Dunn. “Schaly did a nice job in his four innings. Trey came in and got the job done early and kind of lost it late, but he got it done.
“Fagan is the story. He hasn’t even been throwing bullpens. He’s been scuffling at the plate so we decided we needed to get him out on the mound. We told him going in to this series that he had to be available. He’s a guy who can really help us on the mound down the stretch”
Stetson (12-18) took an early lead with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Garrett Russini led off with a single and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Pitts as the Hatters went up 1-0.
After Schaly allowed a base hit with one out in the first, Stetson pitching retired the next 14 USF batters.
USF (17-12) had a pair of significant threats in consecutive innings but came up empty both times. The Bulls loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but Norris induced consecutive ground outs to end the threat.
The Bulls again loaded the bases in the seventh, this time with two outs, and again Norris got out of the jam to keep it a 1-0 game.
Stetson added to its lead in the bottom of the seventh. Kyle Zech ripped a lead-off single and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and an error by USF pitcher Janick Serrallonga. Zech later scored on a ground out by Mitch Piatnik to make it a 2-0 lead for the Hatters.
Fagan entered in the eighth and allowed one hit and an unearned run, striking out a pair to preserve the win and earn his first save of the season.
Stetson managed just six hits, with Zech pacing the effort with a 2-for-3 afternoon. Four different players had one hit each for USF.
The Hatters return to action when they visit Northern Kentucky for an Atlantic Sun Conference series, beginning 3 p.m., Friday in Highland Heights, Ky.