April 1, 2012
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati baseball team fell to University of Pittsburgh 10-9 in 11 innings Sunday afternoon at Marge Schott Stadium.
Pitt (13-12, 2-4 BIG EAST) freshman catcher Elvin Soto put the Panthers ahead in the top of the 11th by launching a lead-off solo home run off the right-field scoreboard.
UC had runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the 11th, but could not get the tying run home.
The game proved frustrating for Cincinnati (10-16, 1-5 BIG EAST) after the Bearcats squandered leads of 5-1 and 6-3.
Bearcats sophomore right fielder Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) led the UC offense with a 3-for-3, four-RBI performance. Senior designated hitter T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle) followed with a 2-for-5, two-RBI game, while redshirt freshman outfielder Ethan McAlpine (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller) provided a spark by going 3 for 4 with three runs scored in his first career start.
Bearcats freshman RHP Art Warren (Stryker, Ohio/Napoleon) allowed five runs on nine hits with two strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched in his first collegiate start.
In spite of their early lead, the Bearcats had to mount a late comeback just to force extras. Trailing by two runs in the bottom of the eighth, Cincinnati tied the game 9-9 when McAlpine scored from third base on a wild pitch and Glass drove in the UC's ninth run with a two-out RBI single to center field.
Pitt batted around in the top of the sixth in route to a five-run outburst that gave the Panthers an 8-6 lead. Sophomore right-hander Matt Ring (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown), who replaced Warren with runners on first and second and one out in the sixth, allowed five runs to cross home plate - two of which were credited toward Warren - after surrendering hits to five of the six batters he faced before being replaced by freshman RHP Evan Hills (Liberty Township, Ohio/Lakota East).
Trailing for the first time of the ballgame, Cincinnati closed the gap to one run in the bottom half of the sixth. McAlpine led off with a bunt single, reached second base on a hit batsman and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Glass drove in McAlpine with a one-out RBI sacrifice fly to center field to make the score 8-7 Pitt.
Hills retired the first five batters he faced before allowing an eighth-inning solo homer to Pitt first baseman Rick Devereux that put the Panthers up 9-7.
Fortunes were looking good for the Bearcats early on when they took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With runners on first and second, Glass clubbed an RBI single to right field that scored junior center fielder Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle) from second base. After freshman third baseman Joey Bielek (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal) singled to load the bases, Jones hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored sophomore shortstop Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) and advanced Glass to third base. Glass then scored from third base on a wild pitch from Pitt starter Matt Wotherspoon, who was pulled from the game after recording just two outs in the first inning.
Pitt second baseman Derek Wilson put the Panthers on the board in the top of the second inning with a two-out RBI single that plated Soto, who reached base by getting hit by a pitch.
McAlpine led off the bottom of the second with a single and advanced to second on a balk. McAlpine scored two batters later when Williams tripled after hitting a fly ball to right field that Panthers RF Casey Roche lost in the sun. Glass drove in Williams with an RBI single to center field that put UC ahead 5-1.
Roche brought Pittsburgh back to within just two runs at 5-3 with a two-run homer to left-center field in the top of the fifth inning.
Cincinnati pushed its lead back to three runs when Jones led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run over the left-field wall that made the count 6-3. The longball was Jones' second of the season.
UC next plays 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.