March 9, 2012
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati baseball team defeated Chicago State University 9-2 Friday evening at Marge Schott Stadium.
Cincinnati (5-6) was led offensively by senior catcher Jake Saylor, who went 2 for 3 with a career-high four RBIs.
Junior lefty Thomas Gentile pitched six innings of relief for the Bearcats, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out seven to pick up his first win of the season.
Cincinnati gained a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning thanks to Saylor's first home run of the season. With one out, Spence singled after hitting a hard ground ball to first base. The next batter, Saylor crushed a 3-1 pitch down the left-field line and into Sheakley Lawn for two UC runs.
The Bearcats began to pull away with four runs in the bottom of the third after producing four runs. Senior 2B Sam Vandenheuvel and sophomore SS Matt Williams hit back-to-back singles to start the third frame. Junior CF Jake Proctor loaded the bases with no outs in the next at-bat with a text-book drab bunt single down the third-base line. Sophomore RF Justin Glass earned the easiest RBI in baseball with a bases-load walk. After the ensuing two batters were retired, CSU starting pitcher Steven O'Hair threw a wild pitch that allowed Williams to score from third. With two outs, Saylor hit a single up the middle that let Proctor and Glass to cross home plate.
After retiring the first two batters in the second inning, junior starting RHP Andrew Strenge walked CSU second baseman Johnny Cantu, who then advanced to second on a single from shortstop Mattingly Romanin. With two outs, Cougars left fielder William Hill singled to right field, driving in Cantu and giving Chicago State a 1-0 lead.
Strenge was pulled after striking out six Cougars and allowing one run in three innings.
O'Hair was replaced with one out in the bottom of the sixth after the senior RHP allowed six runs (four earned) on seven hits with seven strikeouts and four walks.
The Bearcats tacked on two runs in the sixth when freshman 3B Joey Bielek hit a two-RBI single to left field and another run in the seventh on Proctor's RBI single to ensure a Chicago State comeback would not arise.
UC and the Cougars will play a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Saturday with freshman LHP Zach Morris slated to start Game 1 and sophomore RHP Matt Ring taking the mound for Game 2. Both games of the twinbill can be seen live on GoBEARCATS.com.