Bearcats Fall to Hokies on Walk-Off Homerun|
March 2, 2014
BLACKSBURG, Va. – The University of Cincinnati baseball team twice held a three-run lead, but could not complete the win, falling 9-6 to Virginia Tech on Sunday afternoon in Blacksburg, Va. The Hokies’ Brendon Hayden blasted a three-run homerun in the bottom of the ninth inning to end the game in walk-off fashion and send the Bearcats home winless on the weekend.
UC held a 3-0 lead in the third inning before VT tied the game in the fourth. The Bearcats regained a 6-3 lead in the eighth inning before again allowing the Hokies to comeback and tie the score at 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth. Cincinnati had the bases loaded in the top of the ninth but could not capitalize, setting up the Hokies nine-inning rally to win the game.
Senior Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) and sophomore Devin Wenzel (Blandon, Pa./Fleetwood Area) each tallied three hits for the Bearcats. Sophomore Ian Happ (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) had three RBIs, including a two-run homerun in the third inning, the first of the year for Cincinnati.
Additionally, redshirt sophomore Will Drake (Fairfield, Ohio/Michigan) collected one hit in the eighth inning to keep his hitting streak alive at nine game. He has hit safely in every game this season.
On the mound, redshirt sophomore Connor Walsh takes the loss, falling to 1-1 on the season while the Bearcats fall to 2-7 for the year. Virginia Tech improves to 6-3 with the win.
Cincinnati recorded 12 hits in the loss and turned two double plays defensively.
Williams wasted no time getting Cincinnati into the game, leading off with a single, stealing second and taking advantage of two wild pitches to score the game’s first run and put the Bearcats ahead 1-0.
UC added to the lead in the third inning when Happ sent a 2-run shot over the left field fence for his first homerun of the season. Williams hit his second single of the day to get aboard before Happ and give UC a 3-0 lead.
The Hokies climbed back into the game with one run in the third inning and two more in the fourth to tie the game at 3-3. A bases-loaded fielder’s choice brought home the first run while a groundout and a single did the damage in the fourth inning.
Freshman starting pitcher Andrew Zellner (Farmersville, Ohio/Valley View) left the game after 3.2 innings pitched. The righty had five walks and also surrendered four hits for three runs, one of them earned.
Cincinnati again took a three-run lead after a scoring one in the seventh and two in the eighth. Freshman Jake Richmond (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) stepped to the plate in the seventh inning with runners on the corners to knock his first-career hit back up the middle and score sophomore Colin Hawk (Beech Grove, Ind./Roncalli).
One inning later, the Bearcats tacked on two more. Williams rocketed his second triple in as many days to score Drake and Happ hit a groundout to the pitcher that scored Williams.
The Cincinnati lead was 6-3 when Virginia Tech again mounted a comeback, scoring three runs in the bottom of the eighth. Relief pitcher Bryan Chenoweth (Lafayette, Ind./McCutcheon) gave up three hits and a groundout for the first Hokies run and was chased from the game after 3.2 innings pitched. Walsh entered from the bullpen and struggled out of the gate, issuing three-straight walks to score two more runs before finally getting out of the inning with a double play.
The Bearcats tried for one last comeback, loading the bases with one out, but could not bring any runs across. That set up the three-run blast from Virginia Tech to end the game.
Cincinnati returns home to open play at Marge Schott Stadium on Tuesday, March 4 against the University of Kentucky. The first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m., and the game is Mardi Gras themed for Fat Tuesday.