Streaking Cincinnati Stopped by Pitt's Baker, 3-2|
April 13, 2008
CINCINNATI--The University of Cincinnati was poised to repeat its winning formula when it loaded the bases with one away in the eighth inning, but Pittsburgh starting pitcher Corey Baker retired the next two batters to halt Cincinnati and go on to a 3-2 win. Baker went on to earn a complete-game victory and stopped UC's win streak at seven straight games.
Cincinnati (19-12, 9-3 BIG EAST) struck first with a run in the second inning. Mike Spina knocked a one-out double into left-center field for the first UC hit of the day. Ryan Baker's fly ball to center field was misplayed and Spina came home to put Cincinnati in front, 1-0.
Pittsburgh (10-19, 3-9 BIG EAST) manufactured a run in the third inning to even the game, at 1-1. Chris Warner led off with a base on balls and went to second when Cincinnati starting pitcher Tyler Smith walked Jordan Herr to put runners on first and second base. After a fielder's choice put runners on the corners, a potential double play turned into a throwing error, allowing Warner to score.
In the top half of the fifth inning, the left-handed Warner pulled a leadoff home run over the right field fence to give Pitt a 2-1 edge
Smith allowed the next batter to walk, and after a failed pickoff attempt, Adam Calez replaced Smith with one out and a Panther runner standing at third base. Calez retired the next two batters and kept the difference at 2-1.
Tony Campana started the bottom half of the fifth with a base hit. The senior center fielder moved to second on a ground out and went to third base courtesy of a balk by Baker. Josh Harrison's sacrifice fly out plated Campana and knotted the score, at 2-2.
Calez (1-1) worked a scoreless two and one-third innings before allowing a single and double in the top of the seventh. Evan Sanford took the mound in place of Calez and threw two strikes before a wild pitch went to the backstop and Sean Conley scored from third base with the go-ahead run.
Cincinnati's Brian Sand and Matt Heber combined for two scoreless innings of relief to close the door on the Panthers. It was up to the UC offense to keep the team's six-game BIG EAST win streak alive.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, UC used back-to-back singles by Cameron Satterwhite and Spina after a leadoff pop out. Spina finished the afternoon 3-for-3 and scored a run. An error on the infield allowed Baker to reach base and extend the inning. Pitt's Baker struck out the next batter and induced a groundout to work of the jam.
Jamel Scott kept Cincinnati's hopes alive in the ninth with a single and stolen base. Scott moved to third with two outs, but Baker punched out the final batter on strikes to claim the complete game.
Baker (2-1) allowed seven UC hits over nine innings to garner his second triumph of the season. The Pitt righthander allowed one earned run, struck out four and walked one.
Cincinnati looks to get back on the winning track on Tuesday night when it hosts nationally ranked Kentucky at Marge Schott Stadium. First pitch between UC and UK is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.