Feb. 24, 2013
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Freshman shortstop Colin Hawk was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning and the University of Cincinnati baseball team produced its first win of 2013 with a 7-6 triumph over Western Carolina in the First Pitch Invitational finale Sunday evening at Fluor Field.
In the final inning, Cincinnati outfielder Matt Williams walked with two outs before freshman first baseman Jeff Murray singled to right center to put runners on the corners. Freshman catcher Woody Wallace was intentionally walked to load the bases, setting up Hawk’s hit by pitch that ended the ballgame.
Williams and freshman third baseman Devin Wenzel each totaled two RBIs, while Hawk and freshman second baseman Ian Happ both recorded multi-hit games to pace a UC offense that banged out 10 hits.
Redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Connor Walsh made the second start of his collegiate career and allowed four runs on five hits while striking out six Catamounts in five innings. Classmate Bryan Chenoweth picked up the win after tossing the final 1 1-3 innings without allowing run and punching out two batters in relief.
Western Carolina built an early three-run lead in the top of the first innings after producing three hits and benefiting from a pair of UC fielding errors. With runners on first and second and no outs, 3B Tyler White and 1B Jacob Hoyle hit consecutive RBI singles through the right side and C Adam Martin hit a sacrifice fly to center field in three straight at-bats.
UC quickly overcame the deficit by scoring three runs in the bottom half of the first. Happ hit a one-out single before junior left fielder Justin Glass walked. After the two executed a double-steal, Wenzel hit a drive off the left-field Green Monster for a two-run double. Two batters later, Williams singled up the middle to drive in Wenzel and tie the score 3-3.
Cincinnati took its first lead of the ballgame in the bottom of the second. With bases loaded and no outs, Happ grounded into a double play to the shortstop, which allowed Wallace to score from third base and put UC up 4-3.
Western Carolina tied the score 4-4 in the top of the third when RF Cody Jones hit an RBI ground out.
The Bearcats gained their second lead in the fifth inning. After Happ walked, Glass singled to right center to put runners on first and second. Following a pitching change, Wenzel walked to load the bases with no outs. Schmidt and Williams hit back-to-back RBI ground outs to the shortstop that put UC back in front 6-4.
Sophomore RHP Matthew Lathuras relieved Walsh in the top of the sixth and went 3 1-3 innings, allowing two runs, one earned, and striking out three.
The Catamounts cut UC’s lead to 6-5 in the sixth with an unearned run. They eventually tied the score in the bottom of the ninth. Ridings led off with a single to center, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. White singled in Ridings with a base hit to right center, which ended Lathuras’ day and set up sophomore RHP Ryan Atkinson’s strikeout to the one batter he faced before giving way to Chenoweth.
UC plays its home opener at Marge Schott Stadium 4 p.m. Friday versus New York Tech.