March 22, 2009
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The University of Cincinnati baseball team used four home runs to defeat the Pittsburgh Panthers 9-5 in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Trees Field. The win upped UC’s record to 10-8 overall and 1-2 in the BIG EAST, while Pittsburgh fell to 11-6 overall and 2-1 in the BIG EAST.
The Bearcats struck quickly with three runs in the first inning. Junior Jamel Scott (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Scioto) drew a one-out walk, before advancing to second base on a passed ball. Senior Mike Spina (Newberry, Fla./Newberry) put UC in front with a two-run home run, his 10th of the season, pushing the Bearcats in front, 2-0. With two outs, sophomore Justin Riddell (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) and junior Beach Brooks (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven) collected back-to-back singles, before a senior Cameron Satterwhite (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller) double plated Riddell, increasing the UC margin to 3-0.
After senior Billy Welsh (Westlake, Ohio/Westlake) escaped a bases loaded, one-out jam in the first inning, sophomore Nick Rohlfs (Loveland, Ohio/Moeller) led off the Bearcat second inning with a solo home run, his first of the season, expanding the UC advantage to 4-0.
Pittsburgh regained momentum with four runs on four hits in the third inning knotting the game at four, but just as the Panthers tied it up, Cincinnati quickly took the lead back. In the top of the fourth inning, a pinch-hit, lead-off triple by freshman T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/Princeton) placed a runner in scoring position with nobody out. Sophomore Chris Peters (Tipp City, Ohio/Tipp City) plated Jones on a RBI ground out, lifting the Bearcats to a 5-4 lead.
Junior Tyler Smith (Bryan, Ohio/Bryan) retired the Panther side in order in the fourth inning, before Cincinnati gave its junior hurler some run support with three more runs in the fifth to re-establish its four-run lead, 8-4.
In the UC half of the fifth inning, Cincinnati scored its runs courtesy of a two-run home run by junior Lance Durham (Forest Park, Ohio/Roger Bacon), and a solo home run by Brooks.
A Jones triple in the Bearcat eighth led to an insurance run as the Red and Black upped their lead to 9-4, and despite a Pittsburgh run in the ninth, the Bearcats defeated Pitt 9-5.
Cincinnati scored nine runs on 13 hits and Brooks led the team going 3-for-5 at the plate. Spina, Rohlfs, and Durham each drove in two runs apiece to pace the UC offensive attack.
Smith earned his second win of the season giving up only three hits in 5.0 innings of scoreless relief.
The Bearcats host a mid-week contest against Miami (OH) on Tuesday, March 24, before heading to Lexington, Ky. on Wednesday to play Kentucky. Both contests are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.