March 3, 2012
CINCINNATI - Freshman third baseman Joey Bielek hit a walk-off, two-RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the University of Cincinnati baseball team to a 5-4 win in Game 1 of a Saturday doubleheader against Oakland (Mich.) University at Marge Schott Stadium.
Trailing 4-2, senior first baseman Nic Spence walked with the bases loaded with two outs to bring UC to within one before Bielek clubbed a line drive down the left field line to end the ballgame.
Cincinnati (3-5) was plagued by a lack of hitting with runners in scoring position for most the game as the Bearcats stranded nine base runners before Bielek, who finished the game 4 for 5, came up with the big hit UC needed.
Oakland (0-6) twice tied the score after trailing by one run before building a two-run cushion.
The Grizzlies jumped ahead with three runs in the sixth inning to take a 4-2 lead. Senior LHP Cory Hough entered the game with one runner on and one out, but walked the first batter he faced and surrendered a single to load the bases. Hough then walked the third batter he faced that allowed OU to tie the score 2-2. One batter later, Oakland RF Jake Morton drove in a run on a fielder's choice to second base and a throwing error as the Bearcats tried to turn two on the play allowed another Grizzly to score another.
Freshman RHP Grant Walker entered the game with two outs in the sixth and pitched the final 3.1 innings without allowing a run to earn his first career win.
Freshman LHP Zach Morris made his first collegiate start and allowed three runs (two earned) with one strikeout and one walk in 5.1 innings.
The Bearcats took the lead in the bottom of the second inning after scoring one run. UC loaded the bases with one out after Spence walked, Bielek singled to right field and senior catcher Jake Saylor was hit by a pitch. After freshman OF Taylor Schmidt struck out, senior 2B Sam Vandenheuvel walked for an RBI that scored Spence.
In the top of the fourth inning, Oakland tied the score at 1-1. Grizzlies centerfielder Tim Ryan led off the frame with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and moved to third on a Morris balk. OU third baseman Mike Carson plated Ryan with a one-out triple that bounced off the right field wall.
UC scored its second run to retake the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Spence led off the fourth with a double and advanced to third on a double from Bielek, setting up runners on second and third with one out. T.J. Jones pinch hit for Schmidt, but struck out swinging for the second out of the inning. Vandenheuvel followed with his second walk of the game to load the bases for Williams, who walked to score Spence and give the Bearcats a 2-1 lead.
The Bearcats and Grizzlies will play Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. and will be streamed live on GoBEARCATS.com. Sophomore RHP Matt Ring will get the start for the `Cats.