March 21, 2012
CINCINNATI – Freshman left fielder Taylor Schmidt (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, but it was not enough as the University of Cincinnati baseball team fell to No. 2 University of Kentucky 10-7 Wednesday afternoon at Marge Schott Stadium.
Trailing 7-0 in the sixth inning, Cincinnati (8-11) crept back into the ballgame with two runs in the sixth and four runs in the seventh to make the score 7-6. However, Kentucky (22-0) scored once in the eighth inning and added two insurance runs in the ninth to make the game 10-6.
Cincinnati rallied for one run in the ninth with an RBI single by Schmidt, who is now on a seven-game hit streak, but could not get decrease the three-run gap.
In addition to Schmidt, junior center fielder Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) also recorded three hits and produced two RBIs to add to his team-leading total of 20.
UK starting pitcher Chandler Shepherd earned his second win of the season after allowing two runs on five hits with two strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched. Shepherd was efficient for most of his outing, at one point retiring 15 consecutive batters.
UC had a chance to score in the first inning, but came away empty handed. After Proctor led off with a groundout to the shortstop, Schmidt hit a single to the right side of the infield and advanced to second on sophomore right fielder Justin Glass’ (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) single to third base. With runners on first and second and one out, senior designated hitter Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community) struck out swinging and freshman third baseman Joey Bielek ended (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal) the inning with a fielder’s choice groundout to the shortstop.
After Glass’ hit in the first inning, the Bearcats went 15 batters between base hits before Proctor and Schmidt produced back-to-back singles with one out in the sixth inning. Cincinnati got on the scoreboard two batters later when Kline clubbed a two-RBI triple to center field that made the tally 7-2.
Cincinnati put a four-spot on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh inning to close the gap to 7-6. With one out, senior first baseman Kiley Jones (Louisville, Ky./Eastern) was hit by a pitch and junior catcher J.P. Jackson (Bowling Green, Ky./Bowling Green/Western Kentucky) walked to put runners on first and second before a wild pitch moved both runners to second and third. Pinch hitter T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle) singled up the middle for an RBI before Proctor cleared the bases with a triple to deep centerfield that scored two Bearcats.
In just his second collegiate start, UC freshman right-hander Grant Walker (Brookeville, Ohio/Northmont) was credited with the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings pitched.
Kentucky wasted little time taking control of the ballgame after scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. UK first baseman Luke Maile drove in the first run of the game with a one-out RBI single to left field. Two batters later, right fielder Cameron Flynn hit a sacrifice fly to right field for the Wildcats’ second run, followed by an RBI double from third baseman Thomas McCarthy.
UK added a fourth run with one out in the top of the third inning when Maile drove the first offered pitch over the left-center field wall for his sixth longball of the season.
The Wildcats built a five-run lead with another score in the top of the fourth inning. After second baseman J.T. Riddle led off the frame by reaching base on a throwing error, UK catcher Michael Williams drove him in with an RBI single to left field. Consecutive fielder’s choice groundball outs preceded a Maile intentional walk, loading the bases with two outs.
Walker was then relieved in favor of redshirt sophomore left-hander Jason Pascuzzi (Strongsville, Ohio/Strongsville), who induced UK designate hitter A.J. Reed into hitting a fly ball to right field for the third out of the fourth.
Pascuzzi retired two of the first three batters he faced in the fifth inning, but allowed three consecutive singles, including an RBI base hit from Williams that put UC behind 6-0. Freshman righty Matthew Lathuras (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) entered the game for Pascuzzi with bases loaded and two outs in the fifth and struck out UK left fielder Zac Zellers to end the inning.
Right-hander Ryan Atkinson (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) made his second appearance of the season after entering the game in the top of the eighth inning. The freshman threw a wild pitch with a runner on third base to give UK an easy eighth run and make the score 8-6.
UK scored its 10th run when McCarthy hit a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning.
Cincinnati and Kentucky will meet again on April 17 at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky.
The Bearcats will open BIG EAST Conference play 6 p.m. Friday when they travel to Louisville, Ky. to play the University of Louisville Cardinals. The game can be heard live on UofLSports.com.