March 28, 2012
DAYTON, Ohio – The Bearcats pounded out 24 hits, their most since joining the BIG EAST Conference, as the University of Cincinnati baseball team defeated University of Dayton 17-8 on a windy Wednesday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Stadium.
All 10 Bearcats who made a plate appearance had at least one hit, including eight who produced a multi-hit performance. Sophomore right fielder Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) paced the Bearcats with a career-high five RBIs after hitting 4 for 5 and scoring two runs. Also driving in five runs was sophomore shortstop Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian), who went 3 for 4, including a grand-slam home run in the sixth inning.
With the wind blowing northwest around 20 mph, including gusts as high as 32 mph, the ball was flying out the park for the Bearcats, who hit three home runs in a game for the second time this season (March 10 vs. Chicago State). The 20 hits for UC are the most since the Bearcats joined the BIG EAST Conference during the 2004-05 season.
Cincinnati (9-14, 0-3 BIG EAST) exploded for six runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a commanding 12-4 lead. Proctor led off with a double off the left-center field wall and scored when Glass singled to right field for Glass’ fifth RBI. Two batters later, senior DH T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle) earned his second RBI of the game with a single to right-center that drove in Glass from second base. Three batters later and with bases loaded and one out, Williams crushed a 3-2 pitch over the left-field wall for the first grand-slam homer of his UC career.
Dayton (10-15, 2-1 Atlantic 10) was led by shortstop Brian Blasik, who went 3 for 5 with three RBIs as the Flyers produced 13 hits.
Cincinnati quickly built a four-run lead in the top of the first inning. Sophomore second baseman Ryan Quinn (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) and junior center fielder Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) started the inning with a single and double, respectively, before Glass stroked a 2-0 pitch that cleared the right-center field wall, his first home run of the season, and gave Cincinnati an early 3-0 lead. UC added a fourth run in the first when senior left fielder Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community) lined a two-out double to deep center fielder and scored on Spence’s RBI single to right-center.
In the top of the second inning, Glass recorded his fourth RBI of the game with a two-out sacrifice fly to left field that allowed Quinn to score from third base and put UC up 5-0.
The Bearcats took a 6-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Jones led off with a solo home run to right field off an 0-1 pitch from Dayton left-hander Tommy Konrad.
As is common during nonconference midweek games, the Bearcats opted to use multiple pitchers on Wednesday. Freshman right-hander Grant Walker (Brookeville, Ohio/Northmont) pitched just two innings, which was predetermined by the coaching staff prior to the game, and allowed no runs with surrendering just one hit with one strikeout to earn the win.
Senior lefty Brad Mergen (Albany, Minn./Albany/Indian Hills CC) entered the game for Walker in the top of the third and was roughed up for four runs (three earned) on three hits as he retired just one of the six batters he faced.
Freshman RHP Art Warren (Stryker, Ohio/Napoleon) replaced Mergen in the third inning with one out and runners on second and third base Warren sandwiched a hit batsman with two strikeouts to get the Bearcats out of the third leading 6-3. Warren’s day concluded after allowing one run in 2.2 innings with four strikeouts.
The Flyers drew to within two runs after plating their fourth base runner of the game in the fifth inning. With one out, UD second baseman Mel Skochdopole reached second base when he skied a pop up toward first base and no Bearcat defender could identify the ball in the air as it dropped behind first baseman Nic Spence (Victoria, Australia/St. Joseph’s/Central Arizona CC). A double from Flyers 3B Robby Sunderman put runners on second and third, before Joe Gayda popped up to shallow left field that allowed Skochdopole to tag from third and score.
UC will welcome the University of Pittsburgh Panthers to town for a three-game BIG EAST series beginning with Game 1 at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Marge Schott Stadium.