April 5, 2012
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati baseball team fell to University of South Florida 8-2 Thursday evening at Marge Schott Stadium.
With the score tied 2-2, USF ran off six runs in the eighth inning to build an 8-2 advantage. After junior left-hander Thomas Gentile (Westerville, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales) walked the bases loaded to begin the inning, he made a spectacular play to field a hard-hit ball directed toward him and got the force out at home.
Gentile then induced a potential inning-ending double play toward second base, but sophomore second baseman Ryan Quinn (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) mishandled the grounder, extending the inning. The Bulls took advantage by scoring three unearned runs, capped by a two-out, three-run double by USF left fielder Alex Mendez.
Gentile entered the ballgame for starter Andrew Strenge (Yardley, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep) in the top of the fifth and put up zeros for the first three innings pitched before running into trouble in the eighth.
Strenge made his first start since March 9 and allowed two runs while striking out a pair in four innings pitched.
The Bearcats were led offensively by sophomore right fielder Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll), who went 2 for 4 with a run scored.
Trailing by two runs, UC knotted the score 2-2 in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Glass led off the fourth with a double to right-center field and freshman third baseman Joey Bielek (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal) was hit by a pitch to put Bearcats on first and second with no outs. Senior designated hitter T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle) advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. Quinn drove in Glass from third on a groundball infield error by USF shortstop Kyle Teaf. Senior left fielder Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community) drove in Bielek from third base with a sacrifice fly to center field that tied the game.
South Florida doubled its lead to two runs after plating one base runner in the top of the fourth inning. USF first baseman Jimmy Falla led off with a single to shortstop. Three batters later, Teaf singled to left field that drove in Fall for USF’s second run.
USF second baseman Luis Llerena led off the third inning with a double to left field and scored one batter later when left fielder Alex Mendez reach on an infield error that put the Bulls up 1-0.
Cincinnati and South Florida will play Game 2 of a three-game BIG EAST series 6:30 p.m. Friday at Marge Schott Stadium. Freshman lefty Zach Morris (Edgewater, Md./DeMatha Catholic) is slated to get the start for UC.