April 12, 2011
CINCINNATI - A wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the University of Cincinnati baseball team a 6-5 walk-off win over Xavier University in Tuesday's second game of the opening round of the Joe Nuxhall Classic at Marge Schott Stadium.
Freshman third baseman Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) led off the ninth with a walk and advance to third on junior second baseman Sam Vandenheuvel's (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) sacrifice bunt and senior shortstop Chris Peters' (Tipp City, Ohio/Tipp City) groundball out to the second baseman. Sophomore outfielder Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) was facing an 0-2 count when Xavier pitcher Seth Willoughby made an errant pitch that bounced off the catcher and toward the first base dugout, allowing Williams to cross the plate and end the game.
Ironically, it was a wild pitch in the top of the ninth that allowed XU to tie the score at 5-5 and extend the game into the bottom half of the inning. Senior right-handed pitcher Brian Sand (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) entered the game in the ninth and found himself in a bases-loaded, one-out situation. He struck out the next batter to get to two outs and then misfired on a pitch that bounced toward the backstop, allowing XU first baseman Ben Thomas to score from third base on a wild pitch.
Three combined UC errors in the fourth and fifth innings led to two unearned runs and helped Xavier build a 4-0 lead through the top of the fifth inning.
The Bearcats responded soundly in the bottom half of the fifth by producing four runs to tie the game. With bases loaded and no outs, Peters reached on a fielder's choice. A throwing error by XU second baseman John McCambridge allowed Williams to score from second to give UC its first two runs. Proctor hit an RBI groundout to the shortstop, allowing Vandenheuvel to score. Two batters later, senior outfielder Justin Riddell (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) drove in Peters with an RBI single to left field, tying the game at 4-4.
Cincinnati broke through in the seventh inning when freshman OF/DH Justin Glass
(Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) slapped an RBI single through the right side of the infield, scoring Vandenheuvel and giving the Bearcats their first lead at 5-4.
Starting LHP Thomas Gentile (Columbus, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales) had another solid outing for Cincinnati after allowing four runs (two earned) with five strikeouts in seven innings pitched. He was relieved in the eighth inning by freshman RHP Matt Ring (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown) and sophomore RHP Zach Isler (Union, Ky./Covington Catholic), who combined to hold Xavier scoreless in the eighth.
With the win, Cincinnati will play Wright State University in the championship game of the 2011 Joe Nuxhall Classic at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday at Marge Schott Stadium.
-Wright State advanced to the title game after defeating Miami (Ohio) University 5-2 Tuesday afternoon in the opening game of the Joe Nuxhall Classic at Marge Schott Stadium.
-Prior to the Xavier vs. Cincinnati game, a pregame ceremony occurred on the field that featured a Joe Nuxhall tribute video from Cincinnati Reds radio announcer Marty Brennaman. Additionally, Kim Nuxhall, the son of Joe Nuxhall, threw out the ceremonial first pitch as all four participating team cheered him on.