Bearcats Hold on to Beat Akron 8-5 in Series Opener|
March 14, 2014
CINCINNATI – Sophomore Colin Hawk (Beech Grove, Ind./Roncalli) had two hits and scored two runs as the University of Cincinnati baseball team beat the University of Akron 8-5 Friday afternoon in the first game of a three-game series at Marge Schott Stadium.
Holding onto an 8-5 lead in the ninth inning, the Bearcats had to endure an Akron comeback attempt before earning the victory. Redshirt sophomore Colton Cleary (Nicholasville, Ky./Lexington Catholic) entered to pitch with two outs in the inning and the winning run at the plate for the Zips. Cleary wasted no time, ending the game with a groundout to the first batter he faced to earn his first-career save and preserve the win for Cincinnati.
The Bearcats earned the win to improve to 6-10 on the season while Akron falls to 6-7.
Junior Ryan Atkinson (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) picked up the win for UC after going a career-high 7.1 innings. The righty scattered six hits, allowing three earned runs and striking out three. The win improves his season record to 2-0.
Offensively, the Bearcats spread out their runs over the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. Hawk was the only UC player to record multiple hits but six other players tallied a hit on the score sheet to give Cincinnati a total of eight.
Senior Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) had a game-high two RBIs for Cincinnati.
Akron got on the board first, scoring a run in the second inning off a single off the right field wall. The Bearcats did not fall behind for long, however, scoring three runs in the bottom of the frame. Sophomore Ian Happ (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) reached on an error and advanced to second base on the play before classmate Russell Clark (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) lined a double into right field to bring home the first UC run. Later in the inning, a bunt single by senior Ryan Quinn (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) scored Clark before Hawk stole home for the second time this season to give his team a 3-1 lead.
In the third inning, a single by Happ and a ground-out by Clark brought home two more runs and a fourth-inning double by Williams scored two more to give the Bearcats a 7-1 lead. An Akron error, one of four on the day for the Zips, led to a run in the fifth inning for the final UC total of eight runs.
Akron threatened again in the top of the ninth inning, loading the bases with two outs before Cleary entered the game for the save.
Williams’ double in the fourth inning kept his hit streak alive at 10 games while Clark’s second-inning double now gives him a hit in five-straight games.
The Bearcats and the Zips will continue their series on Saturday, March 15. The first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Marge Schott Stadium.