Feb. 23, 2013
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Three Bearcats pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts, but it was not enough as the University of Cincinnati baseball team dropped a 5-1 decision to Furman University during First Pitch Invitational play Saturday evening at Fluor Field.
Cincinnati starting pitcher, senior right-hander Andrew Strenge, allowed four runs, two earned, on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 3 1-3 innings.
Furman starter Jake Wolff did not allow a run in 3 2-3 frames, while striking out five Bearcats and walking just one. He was pulled from the ballgame with two outs in the top of the fourth after getting hit in his right bicep by a line drive single from freshman third baseman Devin Wenzel.
FU sophomore designated hitter Jarrod Rickman clubbed a two-run homer that put the Paladins up 2-0 in the second inning. The inning was extended two batters earlier, when junior right fielder Brendon Neel was charged with an error after losing a line ball in right field.
The Paladins doubled their lead their lead to four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. After catcher Paul Nitto singled to center field, first baseman Alex Abrams homered to right field. After the next two batters singled, Strenge was relieved in place of Sr. LHP Thomas Gentile, who retired the next two batters to get out of the jam.
Cincinnati got on the scoreboard with one run in the sixth inning. Freshman shortstop Colin Hawk led off the frame with a double down the left-field line before freshman designated hitter Forrest Perron hit an infield single to the shortstop, putting Bearcats on second and third with no outs. After a Furman pitching change, junior outfielder Matt Williams pinch hit for redshirt freshman outfielder Taylor Schmidt and grounded into a double play, which allowed Hawk to score from third base.
Gentile pitched scoreless frames in the fifth and sixth before running into trouble in the seventh. After retiring the first two batters, Gentile appeared to have a strikeout when he tossed a pitch that painted the outside corner for a potential third out of the inning. But it was called a ball and lead to a single to left-center field for Furman center fielder Will Muzika. A hit batter preceded an RBI single by right fielder Taylor Johnson for a 5-1 Paladins lead.
Gentile ended the day allowing one run on two hits in 3 2-3 innings with five strikeouts before being relieved in the eighth inning by sophomore RHP Art Warren, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
Cincinnati will conclude First Pitch Invitational action 3 p.m. Sunday when the Bearcats play the Western Carolina Catamounts at Fluor Field.