March 24, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Cincinnati baseball team fell to 21st-ranked University of Louisville 5-4 Saturday at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Cincinnati (8-13, 0-2 BIG EAST) played from behind the entire ballgame as the Bearcats allowed their opponent to score in the first inning for the seventh straight contest.
Louisville (17-6, 2-0 BIG EAST) produced three runs in the bottom of the first after UofL left fielder Jeff Gardner hit a one-out RBI single through the right side of the infield, followed by a two-run home run by Cardinals right fielder Stewart Ijames.
UC freshman third baseman Joey Bielek (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal) led the Bearcats offense after accounting for two of Cincinnati’s seven hits with two RBIs.
Trailing 5-1, UC closed the gap to one run after plating three Bearcats in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, sophomore shortstop Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a single from sophomore second baseman Ryan Quinn (Sparta, N.J./Sparta). Junior centerfielder Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) drove in Williams from second with a single to right field. Proctor and Quinn advanced to second and third on groundout from sophomore right fielder Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll). Then next batter, Bielek drove a full-count pitch to up the middle for two runs that made the score 5-4.
The Cardinals tacked on two runs in the bottom of the third when UofL shortstop Zach Lucas hit a two-run single to right field with the bases loaded to make the score 5-3.
Cincinnati inched closer with one run in the top of the second inning. Senior catcher Jake Saylor (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton/Paradise Valley CC) led off with a walk, followed by a single from senor left fielder Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community). Senior first baseman Nic Spence (Victoria, Australia/St. Josephs/Central Arizona CC) advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt, setting up an RBI groundout from T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle), which made the score 3-1.
UC freshman left-hander Zach Morris (Edgewater, Md./DeMatha Catholic) started the game for the Bearcats and allowed five runs on four hits with three strikeouts in six innings pitched.
Redshirt sophomore left-hander Jason Pascuzzi (Strongsville, Ohio/Strongsville) entered the game to start the bottom of the seventh and produced two scoreless innings to keep the Cardinals offense at bay.
The Bearcats and Cardinals will play the finale of their three-game conference series 1 p.m. Sunday at Jim Patterson Stadium.