Six-Run Ninth Pushes Cincinnati over Missouri 11-5|
Feb. 23, 2014
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The University of Cincinnati baseball team scored six runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a tie game and beat the University of Missouri 11-5 in Winston-Salem, N.C. The game was the final of a three-game Wake Forest Invitational held ad Wake Forest University.
“For us to go on the road and beat an ACC and a SEC club is good for our program” head coach Ty Neal said of the weekend. “My goal for our club is to have every single guy locked in on every single pitch. This will help us execute our plan and allow those not playing to learn the game. Most importantly, it is extremely vital that we continue to play the game the correct way. I put a lot of pressure on myself and the coaching staff to develop our guys.”
Cincinnati and Missouri were tied at five apiece heading into the top of the ninth inning when the visiting Bearcats broke the score wide open, crossing the plate six times for their highest-scoring inning of the season.
Sophomore Russell Clark (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) got things started with his career-high fourth hit of the game, then advanced to second on a Missouri throwing error. Sophomore Woody Wallace (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy) entered for Clark to run and immediate took third on a wild pitch. Two walks to senior Ryan Quinn (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) and sophomore Forrest Perron (Strongsville, Ohio/Strongsville) loaded the bases and a hustle play by sophomore Ian Happ (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) to beat out the throw on an infield single brought home the go-ahead run and put Cincinnati ahead 6-5.
The runs did not stop there, however, as the Bearcats got another run on a bases-loaded walk from Missouri pitcher Peter Fairbanks. The next batter, senior Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) then singled to right field to score both Perron and Happ. With an 8-5 lead firmly in place, Hawk boldly stole home to tack on another run for UC and freshman Connor McVey (Mason, Ohio/Mason) singled to bring home Glass.
When the ninth inning was all said and done, the Bearcats had scored six runs on four hits.
With the win, the Bearcats improve to 2-3 on the year and conclude the weekend with a 2-1 record. Missouri falls to 3-3 on the season.
Redshirt sophomore Connor Walsh Wayne, Pa./Radnor picked up the win for Cincinnati in his first appearance of the year.
UC jumped out to a 5-0 lead after four innings behind a strong outing from starting pitcher freshman Andrew Zellner (Farmersville, Ohio/Valley View). Making his first collegiate appearance and first-career start, the righty threw 4.1 innings of a perfect game before a solo homerun by Mizzou’s Dylan Kelly in the fifth inning put the Tigers on the board.
Zellner officially ended the day with a no decision and his final line included 5.1 innings pitched, two strikeouts, four hits and five earned runs.
Cincinnati kicked off the scoring in the second inning when a single by Wenzel and a double by Clark put two runners in scoring position for Quinn. The senior sent a high fly ball to right field for the sacrifice to score Drake and put UC ahead 1-0.
The Bearcats broke the score open in the fourth inning, recording five hits and scoring four runs to take a 5-0 lead. Wenzel opened the inning with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Clark followed with an RBI single and Quinn singled to put two runners on board. Two batters later, Happ singled to left field to score Clark then Hawk added his second double of the day to bring in two more for the Bearcats.
With one out in the fifth inning, Missouri’s Dylan Kelly hit a fly ball that just barely made it over the wall for a homerun. The hit was the first of the day for the Tigers and broke up a perfect game bid for Zellner. Through 4.1 innings, Zellner had not allowed a hit or a walk and had tossed three strikeouts.
The Tigers climbed back into the game in the sixth inning, scoring four runs to tie the score at 5-5. Zellner walked two batters and gave up three-straight doubles before being replaced by Walsh. After getting himself into a bit of a jam, Walsh induced a fly out to right field to end the inning.
Both teams battled through two scoreless innings until the Bearcats claimed the win in the ninth.
Cincinnati finished the day with 18 hits and 11 runs, both season-high numbers for the team. Additionally, redshirt sophomore Will Drake (Fairfield, Ohio/Michigan) singled in the seventh inning and has now hit safely in every game this season.
Next up, the Bearcats will head to Blacksburg, Va., to compete in the Virginia Tech Tournament. Cincinnati will face both the Virginia Tech Hokies and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks twice, including a double-header on Friday, Feb. 28. The Bearcats will face the River Hawks at noon and the Hokies at 4 p.m. during the first day of the tournament.