March 14, 2010
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati baseball team battled weather conditions all weekend, but on Sunday, the Bearcats picked up three wins over Niagara University at Marge Schott Stadium to improve to 9-4 on the season. Cincinnati completed Friday night’s suspended game to begin the day, before winning a seven-inning game, 12-1, and closing out the three-game series with a 7-5 win.
The Bearcats and Purple Eagles were originally scheduled to play a four-game series, but rain in the Cincinnati area caused the series to be shortened to three games.
In the opener on Friday night, senior Dan Jensen gave up only four hits and two unearned runs in 8.0 innings of work, before the game was suspended in the bottom of the eighth inning with UC leading 9-2.
Heavy rains in the Cincinnati area on Saturday pushed the continuation of Friday’s game to Sunday morning, and it took the Bearcats 10 minutes on Sunday to close out the series opener with a 9-2 triumph.
Immediately following the conclusion of Friday’s suspended game, UC and Niagara played a seven-inning contest and the Bearcats led from the get-go.
In the first inning, senior Jamel Scott and junior Chris Peters reached base by a single and a walk, respectively, before sophomore T.J. Jones delivered UC’s first run with a RBI single to right field that plated Scott and moved Peters from first to third. With Peters on third base and two outs, junior Jimmy Jacquot homered to left-center field upping the Cincinnati lead to 3-0.
In the second inning, a RBI double by Peters, a two-RBI double by Jones, and a RBI-single by Jacquot extended Cincinnati’s lead to 7-0, giving senior Tyler Smith plenty of run support.
Smith went 5.0 innings, gave up four hits and one unearned run en route to his first win of the season, and by the time of his departure, UC had widened its lead to 12-0.
Niagara scored one run in the fifth, but that would be all of the scoring as Cincinnati took the second game of the series, 12-1.
Unlike the previous two games of the series, the Bearcats fell behind early and trailed 4-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth. With one out in the fifth, sophomore Cory Hough was hit by a pitch and he scored all the way from first on a double to right-center field by senior Kevin Johnson. One pitch later, junior Justin Riddell lined a single into right-center field to plate Johnson and cut the UC deficit in half, 4-2.
Riddell moved into scoring position by stealing second base and proceeded on to third base on an infield single by Scott. Another infield single by Peters brought UC within one run, 4-3, and left runners on first and second with only one out. Jones delivered another clutch hit, this time a RBI-single to left-center, knotting the game at four in just a matter of minutes.
Niagara responded with a run in its half of sixth to recapture a one-run lead, 5-4, but a solo home run by Johnson tied the game at five.
A RBI triple from Jones in the seventh scored Scott from second giving UC its first lead of the game, 6-5, and the Bearcats tacked on an insurance run in the eighth when a fielding error by the Niagara second baseman allowed Johnson to score from second base and move the lead to 7-5.
Senior Andrew Burkett came in to close the game in the ninth and retired the Purple Eagles in order to pick up his second save of the season.
For the series, Scott led UC in hitting with a .636 (7-of-11) average, while Jones (.545), Johnson (.545), and Jacquot (.417) also hit over .400 in the three-game set.
The Cincinnati pitching staff combined for a 1.44 ERA for the series and struck out 22 batters compared to four walks.
The Bearcats have four days off for exam week before concluding its 11-game homestand March 19-21 at Marge Schott Stadium against Toledo.