Bulls Strike Early against Dolphins

Bulls Strike Early against Dolphins

TAMPA, Fla. – Andrew Ciocia made his season debut after returning from Tommy John surgery in relief of Nathan Disch, but Jacksonville fell to South Florida 12-6 on Tuesday at USF Baseball Stadium.

"Tough night for the Dolphins," said Head Coach Chris Hayes. "You know Disch can throw much better than what he showed tonight; it just wasn't a good night for him, but we wanted to make sure that he did get his work in. I was proud of all the guys that got an opportunity here tonight. They competed and showed some will throughout the game. I was happy to see Ciocia and Logan get in for the first time this year, and they gave us a chance."

USF (11-1) used big innings in the first and second to put the game out of reach. The Bulls scored three runs in the first inning thanks to a double with the bases loaded, and then scored five more in the second inning on three singles and a triple.

South Florida scored two more in the fourth on a two-run homer, plated another run on three singles in the fifth, and scored its final run in the seventh in small ball action.

However, Jacksonville wouldn't be held down the entire game. The Dolphins put Nathan Koslowski across in the sixth on singles by Scott Dubrule and Angel Camacho, and plated two in the seventh on a Koslowski single and a hard hit ball from Dubrule that was misplayed by the shortstop. Consecutive walks to start the eighth turned into the Dolphins' fourth and fifth runs of the game as Chris Lehane singled home Jacob Southern and Zack Smith, and Camacho singled home Koslowski in the ninth for the Dolphins' sixth and final run.

Ryan Valdes (2-0) was the winning pitcher with seven strikeouts, two hits, and a walk.

Nathan Disch (1-1) took his first loss of the season with 10 run on six hits, four walks, and three strikeouts. The Dolphins used two pitchers in relief. Ciocia pitched two and a third in relief of Disch, and Logan Wonn relieved Ciocia for the final two innings.

"It was great to see Ciocia come back in and come back from Tommy John surgery," said Hayes. "He filled the zone up and attacked the zone. He's not the guy that will beat you with velocity, but he can definitely beat you with location. Ciocia is one of the most competitive people we have in the locker room, and you could see that out there tonight."