Feb. 26, 2010
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The University of Cincinnati baseball team had Penn State University down to its last strike twice, but a ninth-inning Nittany Lion rally sent the game into extra innings before a Penn State walk-off single in the 12th inning handed Cincinnati a 5-4 defeat in its opener of the 2010 Big Ten/BIG EAST Baseball Challenge.
Trailing 2-1 in the eighth inning, sophomore Kiley Jones blasted a pinch hit, three-run home run over the wall in left field on the first pitch he saw, catapulting the Bearcats on top, 4-2.
After retiring the Penn State in order in the eighth, the first two Nittany Lion batters struck out in the ninth before consecutive seeing-eye singles put runners on first and second with no outs. On the first pitch of the next at-bat, Steve Snyder tripled down the right field line scoring both runners and tying the game at four.
The Bearcats had their chance to score in the top of the 10th inning with the bases loaded and one out, but a strike out and a ground out ended the threat, which proved to be UC’s last scoring opportunity as Cincinnati was retired in order in the 11th and 12th innings.
In the bottom of the 12th, Penn State put runners on the corners with two outs and a bloop single into left field gave the Nittany Lions the walk-off, 5-4 win.
Junior Dan Jensen gave UC another quality start giving up just four hits and one earned run, while striking out five, in 6.0 innings of work despite earning a no decision. In two starts this season, Jensen has given up seven hits, two earned runs, and struck out nine in 11.0 innings.
Jensen was given an early lead as senior Kevin Johnson drilled a fastball in the left-center field gap for a lead-off double in the second inning, before moving up ninety feet on a single through the left side by freshman Jake Proctor. Sophomore Cory Hough hit a high chopper to the left side that was deep enough to score Johnson from third, placing UC on top, 1-0.
Penn State responded in the bottom of the second with a two-out, RBI single from Michael Glantz knotting the score at 1-1, and that was the only scoring until Penn State’s Ben Heath gave the Nittany Lions a lead with a solo home run down the left field line in the sixth inning.
Senior Brian Garman kept Cincinnati in the ball game with 4.0 innings of strong relief in which he struck out seven batters without giving up a walk.
Sophomore T.J. Jones led the Bearcats with three hits, while Kiley Jones drove in a game-high three runs.
Cincinnati plays its second game of the Big Ten/BIG EAST Baseball Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 27, against Purdue at Jack Russell Stadium. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and can be seen via webcast at www.collegebaseball360.com.