March 8, 2003
David Austen retired the first 12 batters he faced and Mike Cunningham tied the school record for hits in a game with five to lead South Florida past Siena College 12-2 Friday night at Red McEwen Field. Senior Matt Mueller and freshman Scott King had two hits a piece and sparked a two-run fifth inning in a losing effort for the Saints.
Austen improved to 4-0 this spring and to 8-0 in 11 career starts. The senior right-hander from Coconut Creek took a perfect game into the fifth. He struck out seven for the second consecutive game including five of the six he faced in the third and fourth innings. Austen was unscathed until Matt Mueller lined a single into right field to lead off the fifth.
Cunningham singled in his first four at-bats before tripling in the eighth. The senior from Apopka scored three runs, drove in a run and tied his career high with three stolen bases. Cunningham was 5-of-5 while enjoying the second five-hit game of his career and the first since his freshman season in 2000.
USF (9-4) scored single runs in the first and second innings and put the game away with a six-run fourth.
Cunningham singled to lead off the first, stole second and advanced to third when no one covered second and the ball advanced into center field. Jeff Baisley's sacrifice fly with one out gave the Bulls the early lead.
USF added a run in the second when Ronnie Handley walked, moved to second as Mike Choquette walked and scored via a Cunningham single up the middle.
The Bulls used home runs from Travis Brown and Baisley - both two-run shots - to assemble an 8-0 lead in the fourth. Brown's first home run of the season - and the second of his career - followed Handley's one-out walk.
Mike Choquette singled into left field and moved to second when Cunningham singled in his third consecutive at-bat. A Bryan Hierlmeier fly ball advanced Choquette to third and he scored on a wild pitch. Myron Leslie, who was 3-of-4, tripled into right field to score Cunningham.
Baisley's first home run of the season scored Leslie and USF led 8-0.
Siena (0-12) scored two runs in the fifth inning.
The clubs continue the series Saturday at 1 p.m. at Red McEwen Field.