March 28, 2013
QUEENS, N.Y. -- The University of Cincinnati baseball team suffered a 6-5 defeat to St. John's University Thursday afternoon in Game 1 of a BIG EAST doubleheader at Jack Kaiser Stadium.
The defeat was especially difficult for the Bearcats, who overcame a four-run deficit to tie the score at 5-5 in the top of the eighth inning, only to see St. John's (9-14, 1-3 BIG EAST) score in the bottom of the eighth after a two-out hit batsman led to an RBI single by STJ catcher Danny Bethea that found a hole through the left side of the infield.
UC's pitching flourished for the majority of the ballgame, allowing the Johnnies only four hits; however, the Bearcats walked five and hit one batter.
The Bearcats offense had opportunities throughout the contest, but stranded 11 base runners and struck out 14 times in managing seven hits. UC redshirt sophomore outfielder Ethan McAlpine led the charge after hitting 2 for 4 with a career-high three RBIs, while freshman catcher Woody Wallace went 2 for 5 with a run scored.
Cincinnati threatened to have a big first inning, but came away with just one run. McAlpine began the game by getting hit by a pitch before Perron walked to put runners on first and second for junior outfielder Justin Glass, who clubbed a single to right field that drove in McAlpine for a 1-0 lead. After freshman infielder Ian Happ walked to load the bases with no outs, Wallace and Neel struck out and freshman infielder Devin Wenzel grounded out, stranding three runners.
Cincinnati (8-14, 0-4 BIG EAST) redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Connor Walsh allowed five runs in the second inning, but threw up goose eggs in his other five innings pitched. He finished the game allowing five runs on three hits - all in the second - with three walks and one strikeout in six innings. Sophomore RHP Art Warren pitched two innings, allowing one run on one hit with two walks and three strikeouts.
Walsh retired the first three batters in the bottom half of the first inning before running into trouble in the second as St. John's scored five runs on three hits and two walks to take a 5-1 lead. STJ first baseman Frank Schwindel led off the second with a single to right field, followed by a double by third baseman Sean O'Hare to put runners on the second and third with no outs. An RBI groundout from Bethea scored the Red Storm's first run. Following consecutive walks that loaded the bases, No. 9 hitter Bret Dennis cleared the bases with a triple to deep right-center field. Dennis scored when the next batter RF Pat Talbut hit a sacrifice fly to left field, putting the Bearcats in a four-run hole.
The Bearcats closed their deficit to one run after scoring three runs in the top of the sixth inning. Wallace hit a leadoff single up the middle before junior DH Brendon Neel reached on an error by O'Hare at third base. Following a strikeout, junior shortstop Matt Williams walked to load the bases for McAlpine, who launched a bases-clearing double to the left-field corner that scored three runs and made the count 5-4 STJ.
Aggressive base running by the Bearcats allowed them to tie the score at 5-5 in the top of the eighth inning. Junior infielder Ryan Quinn, who entered the ballgame in the sixth inning at second base, hit a one-out single to left field and advanced to third on McAlpine's second hit of the game - a single to right field. With runners on the corners and one out, Quinn and McAlpine executed a double steal; with Quinn crossing home plate after Bethea mishandled the pitch in reaction to the runners.
After blowing a four-run lead, St. John's responded with one run in the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs, O'Hare was hit by a pitch by Warren. O'Hare stole second and then scored on Bethea's RBI single through the left side of the infield to give STJ a 6-5 lead.
STJ reliever Thomas Hackimer pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the season. Warren was charged with his second loss of the season and is now 1-2 in 2013. STJ freshman Joey Graziano earned his first collegiate win as is now 1-0.
UC and St. John's started Game 2 of the series at 3:15 p.m. Thursday. Cincinnati sent true freshman RHP Mitch Patishall (0-3, 6.41 ERA) to the mound. Patishall's counterpart was STJ senior LHP Sean Hagan (1-4, 7.41).