March 2, 2012
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati baseball team opened its 2012 home schedule by defeating Oakland (Mich.) University 4-2 Friday evening at Marge Schott Stadium.
Cincinnati (2-5) was led by sophomore shortstop Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) and sophomore designated hitter Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll), who each went 2 for 4 to pace a UC offense that saw eight of nine starters record at least one hit. Williams had a triple and a double and scored twice, while Glass drove in two runs.
UC overcame an early 2-0 deficit thanks to a standout pitching performance from right-hander Andrew Strenge (Yardley, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep), who earned his first win of the season after not allowing an earned run and striking out six batters in 5.1 innings pitched.
Oakland (0-5) jumped out to a two-run lead in the top of the first inning thanks to three Bearcats errors.
Cincinnati scored two runs in the bottom of the third to tie the score 2-2. Sophomore second baseman Ryan Quinn (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) led off the inning with a single and advanced to third on a double by Williams. Quinn then scored and Williams advanced to third on a wild pitch, setting up junior OF Jake Proctor’s (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) sacrifice fly to center field that plated Williams.
Freshman third baseman Joey Bielek (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal) put the Bearcats on top 3-2 in the fourth inning with an RBI single to right field that drove in senior catcher Jake Saylor (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton/Paradise Valley CC), who recorded a triple in the previous at-bat.
UC added an insurance run in the top of the seventh to put Cincy ahead by two runs. Williams led off the frame with a triple to left-center field. Two batters later, Glass drove in Williams with an RBI single through the left side.
Junior LHP Thomas Gentile (Westerville, Ohio/St. Francis De Sales) relieved Strenge with one out in the sixth inning and pitched 2.2 inning of scoreless baseball before junior flamethrower Zach Isler (Union, Ky./Covington Catholic) entered the ballgame in the ninth and earned his first save of the year.
The Bearcats and Grizzlies will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. Freshman lefty Zach Morris (Edgewater, Md./DeMatha Catholic) will make his first start of the season for UC in Game 1 of the twinbill. Sophomore RHP Matt Ring (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown) will take the mound in Game 2, which is scheduled to begin approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game.
Both games will be video streamed live for free on GoBEARCATS.com/allaccess.