March 25, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Senior left fielder Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community) hit 3 for 5 with three RBIs, but it was not enough as the University of Cincinnati baseball team fell to No. 21 University of Louisville 12-4 Sunday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium.
For the eighth consecutive ballgame, Cincinnati (8-14, 0-3 BIG EAST) fell behind early after allowing its opponent to score in the first inning, as the Cardinals produced four runs in both the first and third and built an 8-1 lead through three frames.
Louisville (18-6, 3-0 BIG EAST) sophomore Cole Sturgeon hurt the UC charges with a career-high five RBIs out of the No. 9 spot in the Cardinals batting order. Sturgeon also pitched 1.2 scoreless innings of relief for UofL.
Junior left-hander Thomas Gentile (Westerville, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales) made his first start of the season after primarily serving long-relief duty for the Bearcats. Gentile, who entered Sunday's game with a sparkling 1.57 ERA in 23 innings pitched, lasted just 2.1 innings after allowing eight runs on eight hits with one walk and no strikeouts.
After Kline, leading the Bearcats offense were freshman third baseman and cleanup hitter Joey Bielek (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal) and junior centerfielder Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills). Both went 2 for 5, with Bielek adding one RBI to give him 16 on the season, good for second on the team behind Proctor's 21.
UC had a great chance to claw its way back into the game in the seventh inning. With one out, Bielek advanced to second base on a throwing error by UofL shortstop Zach Lucas. Senior catcher Jake Saylor (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton/Paradise Valley CC) gave UC runners on the corners with a single to left field. Kline then drove in his third run of the game with a single to left field that made the score 8-4.
Senior DH T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle) loaded the bases with a single through the left side of the infield, causing UofL to move Sturgeon from left field to the pitcher's mound. With the bases loaded and one out, senior 1B Nic Spence (Victoria, Australia/St. Josephs/Central Arizona CC) and sophomore SS Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) both struck out swinging.
UC scored its first run with two outs in the top of the third inning. Sophomore right fielder Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) hit an opposite-field double down the left-field line. The ensuing batter Bielek blooped a 1-2 pitch over the outstretched glove of Cardinals first baseman Stewart Ijames for an RBI single that allowed Glass to reach home and made the score 4-1.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Bearcats plated two runners when Kline doubled down the right-field line with the bases juiced and one out, driving in Proctor and Glass to make the score 8-3. The UC rally was cut short when Jones hit into a 6-4-3 double play in the next at-bat.
Freshman right-hander Art Warren (Stryker, Ohio/Napoleon) relieved Gentile with one out in the third inning and kept the Bearcats in the ballgame after pitching three scoreless innings.
Cincinnati LHP Cory Hough (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) entered the game with runners on first and second and one out in the sixth inning. Hough retired the first two batters he faced to end the frame. Hough surrendered an unearned run with two men on and no outs in the seventh when Sturgeon hit an RBI single to left field, increasing UofL's lead to 9-4.
Bearcats freshman RHP Matthew Lathuras (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame) replaced Hough after the Sturgeon RBI single and retired the next three batters to end the seventh.
UofL touched Bearcats closer Zach Isler (Union, Ky./Covington Catholic) for three runs in the eighth inning, extending the Cardinals lead to 12-4.
The Bearcats will take a break from conference play when they face the University of Dayton Flyers at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Stadium. Steve Jarnicki and Ben Hunterman will call the action on Real Talk 1160 WQRT-AM, with pregame coverage set to begin at 2:30 p.m.