March 23, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. — The University of Cincinnati baseball team resumed play from its suspended Friday BIG EAST Conference opener against South Florida and lost 8-3 Saturday afternoon at USF Baseball Stadium.
The Bearcats were in danger of getting no-hit before breaking out for three runs in the top of the eighth inning. Junior designated hitter Brendon Neel led off the frame with a single up the middle. Junior shortstop Matt Williams reached on a fielder’s choice before freshman right fielder Forrest Perron smacked a single to center field and advanced to second on the outfielder’s throw. Freshman second baseman Ian Happ then doubled down the left-field line, plating Williams and Perron. Junior left fielder Justin Glass singled to right-center, driving in Happ and cutting USF’s lead to 8-3.
Prior to the eighth, UC managed four base runners on four walks but also hit into two double plays.
After Friday night lightning and heavy rain forced a 1-hour, 4-minute delay before the game was called until Saturday, Cincinnati (7-11, 0-1 BIG EAST) sent redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Ring to the mound with no score in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Muncie, Ind. native surrendered base hits to the first three Bulls he faced for a 1-0 USF lead. A groundball RBI preceded a two-run home run by USF designated hitter Chris Norton to put UC behind 4-0.
USF (11-11, 1-0 BIG EAST) tacked on a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a six-run advantage. Following a leadoff walk, Bearcats freshman LHP Mark Downs entered the game for Ring. A sacrifice bunt placed a runner on second with one out before Alex Mendez doubled to center field for an RBI. The next batter, James Ramsay singled to center field, driving in Mendez.
The Bulls added two insurance runs in the seventh inning. Mendez led off with a double to left field and scored two batters later when Falla singled up the middle. UC freshman RHP Austin Pritchard went in for Downs and got the first batter he faced to pop up. Falla then stole second base, advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a wild pitch for an 8-0 USF lead.
On Friday, Cincinnati starter, redshirt freshman RHP Connor Walsh, was off to a strong start, tossing three scoreless innings and allowing just one hit.
USF starter Jimmy Herget pitched out of a jam in the top of the fourth inning on Friday as the Bearcats stranded runners on second and third just before the weather turned.
Freshman third baseman Devin Wenzel saw his 17-game on-base and 13-game hit streaks come to an end after going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
The Bearcats and the Bulls began Game 2 of their three-game league series at 4:40 p.m. at USF Baseball Stadium. Freshman righty Mitch Patishall (0-2) got the start for the Bearcats and faced Jr. LHP Nick Gonzalez (1-3).