April 13, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Junior center fielder Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) raked a career-high four hits and senior designated hitter T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle) produced his team-leading third home run, but it was not enough as the University of Cincinnati baseball team fell to University of Notre Dame 10-9 Friday evening at Frank Eck Stadium.
After Notre Dame (18-15, 5-5 BIG EAST) led 8-1 through three innings, Cincinnati (11-22, 1-9 BIG EAST) twice came within one run, at 8-7 and 10-9, but were unable to complete the comeback.
In the top of the ninth inning the Bearcats had the tying and go-ahead runners on first and second with just one out, but senior left fielder Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community) struck out and sophomore shortstop Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) flew out to right field, ending the ballgame.
Proctor went 4 for 5 with two RBIs and one run scored to lead a UC offense that recorded 12 hits and four individual multi-hit performances. Freshman third baseman Joey Bielek (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal) hit 2 for 4 with two RBIs while Jones went 1 for 5 with two RBIs.
Trailing by seven runs, UC produced four two-out runs in the top of the fourth to make the score 8-5. Sophomore right fielder Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) led off the fourth with a single, stole second base and scored on Kline's sacrifice fly. Williams, Spence and Proctor hit three consecutive RBI singles to close the gap to three.
Jones belted a one-out, two-run bomb to left field that scored Bielek, who reach with a leadoff single, that made the score 8-7 UND in the top of the fifth.
Jones' homer ended UND ace Will Hudgins' day after the Irish right-hander allowed seven runs on nine hits in 4 1-3 innings pitched. Prior to Friday, Will Hudgins had allowed just eight earned runs in 2012.
Notre Dame extended its lead back to three runs after scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded and one out, UND left fielder Mac Hudgins singled through the right side of the infield to plate two runners and make the score 10-7.
For the second time of the ballgame, UC crept back to within one run when two Bearcats scored in the top of the sixth. Spence led off with a double and Proctor singled to put runners on second and third with no outs. Three batters later, Bielek hit a bases-loaded single to left field that scored Spence and Proctor and made the count 10-9 Irish.
Junior right-hander Andrew Strenge (Yardley, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep) struggled to make the Notre Dame batters miss in his brief outing, allowing seven runs on eight hits in two-plus innings pitched.
Strenge's day was done after allowing a leadoff longball to UND catcher Joe Hudson in the third inning, which made the score 7-1 Irish. Freshman righty Evan Hills (Liberty Township, Ohio/Lakota East) relieved Strenge with no outs in the third. UND right fielder Charlie Markson singled off Hills, stole second and eventually scored on a wild pitch to increase Notre Dame's lead to 8-1.
The Bearcats got on the board in the top of the third inning to make tally 6-1. Williams hit a one-out single and scored two batters later when Proctor clubbed an RBI single over the reach of UND shortstop Phil Mosey.
Cincinnati fell behind 6-0 after Notre Dame plated four runners in the bottom of the second inning. With one out and runners on second and third, Mosey hit a sacrifice fly for UND's third run. Two batters, Irish designated hitter Ryan Bull hit a two-out, three-run homer.
The Bearcats and Fighting Irish will continue their series 2:05 p.m. Saturday at Frank Eck Stadium. Freshman Zach Morris (Edgewater, Md./DeMatha Catholic) is scheduled to start for UC.