Down 3-0 and three outs away from defeat, the University of Cincinnati baseball team used a hit by Josh Harrison to score Chris Peters from third base and cap a four-run rally to claim a 4-3 win over Niagara. The victory salvaged a weekend split for Cincinnati in the four-game series.
Cameron Satterwhite gave a rude welcome to Niagara relief pitcher Mark Sikorski with his fourth double of the week to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Mike Spina singled to put runners on the corners. A passed ball allowed the alert base runners to advance and Satterwhite's dash home and made the score 3-1. With Spina standing at second, Scott kept the hits coming with an RBI double that narrowed the deficit to 3-2.
Niagara looked to take momentum back with consecutive outs to put UC on the brink. The No. 9 hitter in the Cincinnati lineup Peters knocked a two-out single up the middle to plate Scott and tie the game at 3. Tony Campana followed with a hit that moved the rookie Peters from first to third and set up the game-winning hit.
Niagara (7-6) enjoyed a shutout for the first eight innings, thanks to right-handed starting pitcher Marcus Spaulding. Spaulding allowed two hits and four walks, while striking out six before giving way to Mark Sikorski.
The Purple Eagles cracked into the scoring column in the first inning. Jason Cramer led off the game with a double down the left field line and later scored on a sacrifice fly out by Tim Alberts.
Alberts started the fourth inning by reaching base courtesy of being hit by a Tyler Smith pitch. A double by Harrison Harber put both runners in scoring position with Frank Kurnik at the plate. Kurnik's ground out plated Alberts to make it a 2-0 lead.
UC (6-8) opened the afternoon with pitcher Tyler Smith making his fourth start of the season. The sophomore transfer struck out seven over six and a third innings, but did not figure in the decision.
In the Niagara seventh inning, Matt Lucchesi singled to right field to open the frame and advanced to second when Cramer walked Relief pitcher Brian Garman yielded a hit to Alberts that scored Lucchesi and stretched the margin to 3-0.
The left-handed Garman (2-1) was close to flawless the rest of the way. He struck out three and allowed one free pass in two and two-thirds innings of relief.
With the week loaded with Winter Term finals on the UC campus, the Bearcats take a four-day break before continuing their 15-game home stand with their BIG EAST Conference debut against USF on Friday, March 21. Friday's series opener is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, the league foes tangle in a doubleheader slated for 1 p.m. at Marge Schott Stadium.