March 18, 2012
CINCINNATI – Sophomore right fielder Justin Glass went 4 for 4 and freshman designated hitter Taylor Schmidt went 3 for 3, but it was not enough as the University of Cincinnati baseball team dropped a 9-4 decision to Michigan State University Sunday afternoon at Marge Schott Stadium.
The win completed a three-game sweep for the Spartans (10-7), who tagged the Bearcats (8-9) pitching staff for 16 hits, four walks and two hit batsmen.
In addition to Glass and Schmidt, UC received a career performance from junior catcher J.P. Jackson, who finished the game 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
Senior left-hander Brad Mergen started for the Bearcats, who used six pitchers the previous game during Saturday’s 14-inning marathon. With available arms at a premium, the UC coaching staff was hoping Mergen could deliver some innings. Unfortunately, Mergen surrendered five runs on three hits and two walks in just two innings, forcing UC to use its bullpen early.
Michigan State scored in the first inning for the third time in three games to take an early 1-0 lead. MSU leadoff hitter Anthony Cheky started the game by getting hit by a pitch and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Cheky scored on a sacrifice fly from Spartans third baseman Torsten Boss.
The Spartans began to pull away in the second inning with a four-run outburst. With one out and runners on first and second, a catcher’s interference loaded the bases for MSU catcher Andy Johnson, who walked to make the score 2-0. After an infield fly to third base for the second out of the frame, Michigan State second baseman Ryan Jones doubled off the right-field wall, which cleared the bases and put the Spartans up 5-0.
UC showed fight with two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Schmidt led off the frame with a single to right-center field, and scored on Jackson’s double down the left-field line. Two batters later, junior center fielder Jake Proctor drove in Jackson from third base with an RBI groundball out to the shortstop, bringing the Bearcats within three runs at 5-2.
Michigan State tacked on runs in the fourth and seventh innings to increase its lead to 7-2. Jones hit an RBI single off the pitcher UC freshman righty Grant Walker, who entered the game in the top of the third. Bearcats freshman RHP Art Warren entered the game in the seventh and, after retiring the first two batters of the inning, allowed a single and then an RBI double to MSU designated hitter John Martinez.
The duo of Schmidt and Jackson struck again for the Bearcats in the seventh inning. Just like the third frame, Schmidt led off with a base hit, a double down the left-field line. Jackson followed with an RBI single down the left-field line to drive in Schmidt and make the score 7-3.
MSU scored twice with two outs in the eighth inning to make the score 9-3 before Glass drove in Proctor in the bottom of the ninth with a one-out RBI double down the left-field line to make the final score 9-4.
Cincinnati will play its first midweek game of the season; a 3 p.m. Tuesday tilt at Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind. The ballgame can he heard live on ButlerSports.com.