April 11, 2010
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – The University of Cincinnati baseball team held a one-run lead heading into the ninth inning, but Seton Hall University rallied to tie the game in the ninth before overcoming another one-run deficit in the 11th inning to defeat the Bearcats 4-3 in the series finale between the two schools Sunday afternoon at Owen T. Carroll Field.
The loss dropped UC to 15-14 overall and 3-6 in the BIG EAST Conference, while SHU upped its record to 13-15 overall and pulled into a tie with UC at 3-6 in the league.
For the third consecutive game, Seton Hall was able to take an early lead thanks in part to a Cincinnati error. With runners on the corners and two outs in the first inning, a throwing error by the Bearcats allowed one run to score as SHU took a 1-0 lead.
Cincinnati had a chance to put some runs on the board in the second inning with runners on second and third base with one out, but a pop out to the second baseman and a line out to right field ended the threat and kept the Pirates in front, 1-0.
UC was retired in a row in the third and fourth innings, before creating a run with two outs in the fifth. Senior Jamel Scott drew a five-pitch walk to reach first base with two outs and after the Seton Hall pitcher threw over to first base three times to keep Scott close, Scott stole second base to move into scoring position. Once in scoring position, junior Mikel Huston lined a single into right-center field that scored Scott from second base and tied the game at one.
In the sixth, the Bearcats took their first lead of the game on a solo home run to left field by senior Jimmy Jacquot as UC went on top, 2-1. The home run was the first in the series by either team and Jacquot’s fifth of the season.
Senior Brian Garman was dominant out of the bullpen for the Bearcats in 3.1 innings giving up just one hit and one walk, while striking out three in relief of junior Nick Johnson, who gave up three hits, one unearned run, and struck out four in 4.2 innings.
UC took its one-run lead into the ninth inning, but with the bases loaded a sacrifice fly knotted the score at two. The Pirates still had a chance to win the game with a runner on second and two outs, but a ground out ended the threat and sent the game into extra innings.
Following a scoreless 10th inning, junior Chris Peters led off the frame with a single to left-center field and quickly advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. After a pop out left Peters at second with two outs, sophomore T.J. Jones lined a pinch-hit single into right field that scored Peters and put Cincinnati back in front, 3-2.
Just as UC took the lead, the Pirates’ lead-off batter was hit by a pitch and then moved to second base on a bunt single. During the next at-bat, Seton Hall looked to move both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and on the bunt, a throwing error scored a runner and put the winning run ninety feet away. On the next pitch, a fly ball to center field was deep enough to score the runner from third as SHU completed the 4-3 comeback win.
Three of Seton Hall’s four runs came off of two Cincinnati errors and for the weekend, 12 of the 17 runs given up by Cincinnati were unearned.
Senior Kevin Johnson led UC at the plate with two hits, while Huston, Jacquot, and Jones all collected RBIs.
The Bearcats return to the diamond on Tuesday, April 13, when they head to Oxford, Ohio, to face Wright State in the first game of the 2010 Joe Nuxhall Classic at McKie Field at Hayden Park. The meeting between WSU and UC will start at 3 p.m. and is the first of two games on Tuesday with Xavier and Miami (OH) meeting in the nightcap at 7 p.m.