Feb. 22, 2013
GREENVILLE, S.C. — The University of Cincinnati baseball team fell to Michigan State University 14-6 on a drizzly Friday evening at Fluor Field on the opening day of the First Pitch Invitational.
The Cincinnati (0-4) defense committed five fielding errors, which resulted in six unearned runs for Michigan State.
UC starter and redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Christian McElroy allowed five runs, only two of which were earned, on four hits and struck out three in 3 1-3 innings.
Michigan State (3-1) starter Mick VanVossen pitched 4 1-3 frames, allowing three runs with three walks and six punchouts.
Six different Bearcats recorded one hit apiece, while five produced one RBI, including freshman catcher Woody Wallace, whose first-career hit was an RBI double in the seventh inning.
Michigan State jumped out to a five-run lead in the fifth inning largely due to three Bearcats errors. MSU first baseman Ryan Krill led off with a single to right field before Joel Fisher doubled to left field to put runners on second and third with no outs. Right fielder Jimmy Pickens drove in two runs with a double down the right-field line. Three consecutive errors allowed three unearned runs to cross home plate.
After not reaching base in the first four innings, Cincinnati drew to within two runs in the top of the fifth inning after plating three runners. Freshman third baseman Devin Wenzel led off with a walk before classmate and second baseman Ian Happ tripled to right-center field for an RBI. After freshman first baseman Jeff Murray walked, junior designated hitter Neel drove in Happ with a groundout to first base. Following a pitching change, freshman shortstop Colin Hawk sacrifice bunted runners over to second and third with two outs, setting up redshirt freshman center fielder Taylor Schmidt’s infield RBI single that bounced over the pitcher’s glove and made the score 5-3 MSU.
The Spartans tacked on another run in the bottom half of the fifth to make the count 6-3 when third baseman Kevin Goergen singled to the shortstop Hawk. Michigan State added two runs in the sixth, extending its lead to 8-3, but left three men on base for the second time in the ballgame.
UC clawed its way back into the game in the top of the seventh to make the score 8-6. Neel hit a leadoff triple to center field before Wallace doubled down the left-field line for the first hit and RBI of his young collegiate career. Hawk singled through the left side to put runners on the corners and no outs. After a strikeout, junior right fielder Matt William reached on an error by MSU shortstop Ryan Richardson, allowing Wallace to scored unearned. Junior left fielder Justin Glass then hit a sacrifice fly to right field for an RBI.
Michigan State scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh thanks to two UC errors and two wild pitches to extend its lead to 11-6. The Spartans produced another three spot in the eighth to take a 14-6 lead and stranded three runners for the third time in the ballgame.
Cincinnati will resume action at the First Pitch Invitational 6 p.m. Saturday at Fluor Field when the Bearcats play the Furman University Paladins.