Feb. 16, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- A five-run fourth inning proved the difference during the University of Cincinnati baseball team's 7-5 loss to Florida Atlantic University in the second game of a Saturday doubleheader at FAU Baseball Stadium.
Junior outfielder Justin Glass paced the Bearcats attack by producing his first multi-hit game of the season after batting 2 for 4 with a home run. Junior outfielder Brendon Neel produced a three-run pinch-hit home run for his first career hit at a Bearcat.
UC senior right-hander Andrew Strenge lasted just 3 2-3 innings after getting tagged for five runs on seven hits. His counterpart, Jake Meiers, tossed five innings, allowing two runs on five hits with three strikeouts.
The Owls batted around with four hits and pushed five runs across the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 7-2 lead. A leadoff double by FAU right fielder Corey Keller set up an RBI single by third baseman Ricky Santiago and led to Strenge getting pulled for Thomas Gentile. The senior southpaw got the Bearcats out of the inning, but not before allowing two unearned runs on one hit and two walks.
Aside from the two unearned runs surrendered in the fourth, Gentile went untouched in the 3 1-3 innings he pitched while striking out four.
Cincinnati (0-2) had an opportunity to close the gap in the top of the fifth inning, but came up empty-handed. Freshman second baseman Forrest Perron and Glass hit back-to-back two-out singles before freshman third baseman Devin Wenzel walked. With the bases loaded, junior right fielder Matt Williams flew out to right field to end the frame.
After no runs were scored by either team from innings five through eight, UC freshman first baseman Ian Happ and designated hitter Jeff Murray led off the ninth with consecutive walks before freshman catcher Russell Clark was pulled for Neel, who clubbed an 0-1 pitch over the left-center field wall that cut the deficit to 7-5. However, the next three Bearcats went down in order to end the game.
Florida Atlantic took a one run lead in the bottom of the first inning. FAU center fielder Nathan Pittman led off with a double down the right-field line and advanced to third after tagging on a fly out to center. First baseman Mark Nelson doubled to left-center field, driving in Pittman and giving the Owls a 1-0 advantage.
The Bearcats knotted the score 1-1 in the top of the second inning. Wenzel led off with a single through the left side of infield before stealing second base. Three batters later, Murray hit a two-out single up the middle that allowed Wenzel to score from second.
Glass gave Cincinnati a short-lived one-run lead in the top of the third inning. After the first two batters went down, Glass crushed the first offering from Meiers over the center field wall for his first hit of the season and a 2-1 Bearcats score.
FAU tied the score 2-2 in the bottom half of the third inning. Left fielder Geoff Jimenez led off with a triple to center field and scored when the next batter, Pittman, grounded out to first base.
Cincinnati and Florida Atlantic will play the series finale Sunday at noon at FAU Baseball Stadium. Redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Connor Walsh will make his collegiate debut for the Bearcats.