April 10, 2011
CINCINNATI - Senior right-handed pitcher Nick Johnson (Delphos, Ohio/St. John's) pitched a complete game to guide the University of Cincinnati baseball team to a 5-2 win over University of Louisville on Sunday before a crowd of 1,489 at Marge Schott Stadium.
The combination of Johnson's pitching and multiple highlight-reel defensive plays held UofL scoreless until the ninth inning. Johnson allowed seven hits while striking out eight, one short of his season high, in nine innings pitched.
The Bearcat offense was led by junior first baseman Nic Spence (Victoria, Australia/St. Joseph's), who went 3-for-3 with two RBI, and senior catcher Nick Rohlfs (Loveland, Ohio/Moeller), who batted 3-for-4 with one RBI and a stolen base.
Spence drove in the first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI single to right field, scoring junior OF/C Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community) and giving Cincinnati a 1-0 lead.
The Bearcats separated from the Cardinals with a three-run fifth inning. Kline and freshman third baseman Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Junior second baseman Sam Vandenheuvel (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) drove in Kline with a groundball to third base. Rohlfs and senior shortstop Chris Peters followed with RBI singles to put UC ahead 4-0.
The Cincinnati defense came up with big plays throughout the game, particularly in the fifth inning. With a runner on first base and no outs, Vandenheuvel made a heads up play by throwing out Louisville LF Kyle Grieshaber, who overran second base after an infield hit by 1B Zak Wasserman. In the ensuing at-bat, Wasserman tried to score on UofL catcher J.J. Ethel's double to left centerfield, but was thrown out at the plate after Peters fired a precise relay throw to Rohlfs for a beautiful 7-6-2 putout.
Spence drove in UC's fifth run of the day with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to give the Bearcats a 5-0 lead.
Johnson ended Louisville's two-run rally in the ninth inning after striking out Gardner to end the game.
Cincinnati will play cross-town rival Xavier University at approximately 7 p.m. ET Tuesday at Marge Schott Stadium on the opening day of the 2011 Joe Nuxhall Classic.