Bearcats Split Twin Bill with Purples Eagles, 12-5 and 12-7|
March 15, 2008
CINCINNATI--The University of Cincinnati baseball team came back from a one-run deficit to score nine runs and take a 12-5 win in Game One, but allowed nine runs in the last inning to lose 12-7 in Game Two and split a doubleheader against Niagara. Cincinnati's Ryan Baker finished the day 6-for-9 and Chris Peters scored two runs in each game, but it was the big outburst in the top of the last inning by Niagara that stole the show in the second game.
Game One opened with the Bearcats generating a run in each of the first three innings before the Purple Eagles tied the game with three runs in the fourth inning. Steve Harber's two-run single keyed the rally.
The visitors added a run in the fifth, but in the bottom half of the inning the home standing Bearcats used a sacrifice fly by Dustin Alvey and an RBI single by Tyler Goodro to take a 5-4 advantage. Baker followed with a run-scoring single of his own to boost the lead to 6-4.
Cincinnati stretched its advantage when an apparent double play with the bases loaded went awry and a Niagara throwing error allowed two UC runners to score and make it 8-4. UC added four more runs in the seventh, highlighted by Satterwhite's two-run base hit that stretched the advantage to 12-4.
Niagara's Andrew Macdonald capped the scoring in the first game with a solo home run off of UC reliever Matt Heber in the ninth. Macdonald finished the game 3-for-5, with two RBIs and two runs scored.
UC starting pitcher Michael Hill improved to 2-0 with the win. Niagara's Mark Wilson (0-2) was dealt the loss after yielding six runs in four and two-thirds innings.
In the day's second game, the starting pitchers Daniel Morari of Niagara and Nick Johnson of Cincinnati kept the bats quiet until both sides scored twice in the fourth inning.
Scheduled for seven innings, the contest gained urgency when Niagara's Jonathan Smith led off the fifth with a walk. A sacrifice bunt and an error moved Smith to third. An infield single by Harber made it a 3-2 NU advantage.
UC's Peters started bottom half of the fifth with a single and came around on Josh Harrison's triple to tie the game at 3. Kevin Johnson's RBI single plated Harrison to give the home team a 4-3 lead. With rain threatening throughout much of the game, Cincinnati padded its lead with three runs in the sixth inning to make it 7-3.
With rain falling, Macdonald led off the seventh inning for Niagara with a single. Tim Alberts knocked a home run over the left field wall to cut the lead to 7-5. Steve Baldinelli's single kept the visiting sides hopes alive between a ground out and strike out. One out shy of a UC victory, the first of two errors on the infield kept the inning alive. Pinch hitter Graham Skelhorne-Gross ripped a double to score both runners and tie the score, at 7-7. Two miscues by Cincinnati -- a passed ball and a fielding error -- scored Skelhorne-Gross and gave Niagara a one-run lead. After NU loaded the bases off of relief pitcher Justin Schultheiss, Macdonald smashed a bases-loaded double to make the score 11-7. Alberts added the final blow with a triple to boost the difference to 12-7.
Harrison Helms (1-0) pitched two-thirds of an inning to earn the victory. Evan Sanford (0-2) suffered the defeat for the Bearcats.
Cincinnati and Niagara return to Marge Schott Stadium on Sunday to conclude the weekend series. The series finale is scheduled for 1 p.m.