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Upset in Gainesville: Bulls beat No. 15 Florida to open NCAA Tournament

USF beats Gators for first time in NCAA Tournament since 1982.
Credit: USF Athletics
The University of South Florida Bulls played in the program's 14th NCAA Tournament Friday against No. 15 Florida.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — When 10 Tampa Bay went out to USF baseball practice earlier this week, the message was loud and clear: The Bulls weren't done yet.

USF upset its way to its first conference title since 1995 and was not done there. 

No. 15 Florida entered the NCAA Tournament 15-1 in regional openers at home, but that is now 15-2 after the Bulls 5-3 win.

This is the first regional opening win for South Florida since 2017 and the first NCAA win against Florida since 1982.

USF hit two home runs off Florida ace and Sunlake High School product Tommy Mace. 

Mace would not pitch very long after a two-hour, 18-minute weather delay bounced both starting pitchers.

Venice High School product Orion Kerkering locked down his fifth save of the season with the tying run up at the plate in the 9th inning

USF will play the winner of Miami/South Alabama Saturday at 4 p.m.

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