March 28, 2009
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -
The University of Cincinnati baseball team took an early 2-0 lead but was unable to hold on, dropping game two of a BIG EAST Conference doubleheader to Rutgers 7-4, on a windy Saturday at Bainton Field.
The Bearcats (13-10, 2-4 BIG EAST) scored single runs in the first and fourth innings, but Rutgers (11-13, 2-4 BIG EAST) had a five-run fifth inning that helped lead it to the win in the series finale.
UC was on the board early as Mike Spina walked with two outs in the first inning and advanced to second on a passed ball. Lance Durham singled though the left side, scoring Spina. The next batter, Justin Riddell sent another single to right field, advancing Durham. Beach Brooks walked to load the bases for Kendal Coleman. Coleman was struck out by Rutgers starter Charlie Law to end the inning.
Cincinnati struck again in the top of the fourth when Nick Rohlfs had an infield single that scored Riddell from third. Riddell had led the inning off with a double, and advanced to third after Coleman reached on an error.
UC starter Tyler Smith was solid for the first three innings but ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth frame. A Smith wild pitch plated Jaren Matthews who had led off with a double and advanced to third on a bunt single by Jayson Hernandez. Jarred Jimenez doubled down the left field line, scoring Hernandez to even things up at two runs apiece.
The Scarlet Knights broke the game open with five runs in the fifth, giving them a 7-2 lead. Michael Lang led off the inning with a single, advancing to second on a throwing error and also taking third on the play. Lang scored on a groundout from Pat Biserta. After giving up a single up the middle to Dan Betteridge, Smith was pulled for Andrew Burkett.
Burkett hit Hernandez to load the bases and then gave up a grand slam to Luis Feliz to right center. After giving up a single and hitting a batter, Burkett was pulled for Brian Sand
who got Joey Ianiero to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Smith took the loss, giving up five runs off of eight hits in 4.1 innings of work. He struck out four and saw his record move to 2-2 on the season. Sand pitched 3.2 innings of two-hit ball, striking out one.
UC pulled two runs back in the top of the seventh. With two outs on the board, Jones and Spina walked, and Durham doubled down the left field line scoring Jones and advancing Spina to third. Law was pulled for Kevin Lillis, and Spina scored on a wild pitch. After a Riddell walk, Lillis got Beach Brooks to strike out, ending the inning.
Law picked up the win for Rutgers, moving to 1-2 on the season. He went 6.2 innings, giving up four runs, two of them earned, off six hits while fanning 10 and stranding eight Cincinnati runners. Ryan Beard worked a scoreless ninth for his sixth save of the season.
Spina walked twice and scored two runs, while Durham and Riddell were 2-for-4, and 2-for-3, respectively. Durham had a pair of RBI while Riddell walked once and scored a run.
Cincinnati returns home to Marge Schott Stadium for 11 of its next 12 games. A five-game homestand gets under way Tuesday with a non-league contest against Wright State. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.