Feb. 17, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Florida Atlantic University catcher Mike Spano's walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning sent the University of Cincinnati baseball team home with a 4-3 loss Sunday at FAU Baseball Stadium.
FAU right fielder Corey Keller hit a first-pitch leadoff triple in the bottom of the 10th and three pitches later Spano lined a 1-0 pitch through the right side of the infield to win the ballgame 4-3.
UC redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Connor Walsh made his collegiate debut and allowed three earned runs on four hits with one strikeout and three walks in 3 2-3 innings.
FAU starter Jeremy Strawn tossed six innings, allowing three total runs, two earned, on six hits with four punchouts and a walk.
Freshman second baseman Ian Happ went 2 for 4, while freshman third baseman Devin Wenzel and junior outfielder Justin Glass both hit 1 for 4 to lead a UC offense that totaled seven hits. Wenzel drove in two runs with his first collegiate home run and Glass produced one RBI.
Cincinnati (0-3) held a 3-1 lead through 2 1/2 innings with a three-run top of the third. Redshirt freshman center fielder Taylor Schmidt led off the frame by reaching on an error before heads up base running allowed him to advance to third base on a wild pitch. Glass drove in Schmidt by belting a one-out RBI double down the left-field corner, tying the score 1-1. Wenzel cleared the bases four pitches later when he launched a 3-1 offering over the left-field fence for home run No. 1 of his UC career.
FAU (3-0) quickly chipped away at UC's lead, scoring runs in the bottom of the third and the fourth innings to tie the game 3-3. In the third, center fielder Nathan Pittman led off with a triple to right-center and scored on a groundout by first baseman Mark Nelson. Shortstop Mitch Morales' two-out RBI single to right field in the fourth drove in Keller, who led off the fourth with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Walsh was relieved one at-bat later after issuing a walk to second baseman Sean Murrell. Sophomore right-hander Matthew Lathuras entered the game and got the Bearcats out of the fourth with no more damage done.
Lathuras pitched a career-high 4 1-3 innings, allowing no runs and just two hits with two strikeouts.
FAU relief pitcher Michael Sylvestri retired the first 10 batters he faced, including strikeouts to the first six, to blank the Bearcats the rest of the game.
UC was in danger in the ninth inning when the Owls got a leadoff walk by Pittman, who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Bearcats head coach Brian Cleary opted to intentionally walk Nelson to set up the double play, which worked to perfection as redshirt freshman RHP Bryan Chenoweth induced cleanup hitter Tyler Rocklein into an inning-ending 6-4-3 twin killing.
Cincinnati had an early opportunity to put runs on the scoreboard in the top of the second, but to no avail. Freshman first baseman Jeff Murray singled up the middle before Happ doubled to right field to put runners on second and third with one out. A strikeout preceded a walk by freshman catcher Woody Wallace that loaded the bases. With freshman shorstop Colin Hawk staring at an 0-2 count, he lined a rope to left-center field, but Pittman made a nice diving catch, preventing three potential Bearcats runs.
Florida Atlantic scored the first run of the ballgame in the bottom of the second. Keller singled to left field to lead off the frame and stole second base with two outs. Morales hit a blooper that landed in shallow center field to drive in Keller and make the score 1-0 FAU.
Cincinnati next plays 5 p.m. Friday versus Michigan State at the First Pitch Invitational in Greenville, S.C.