April 17, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Cincinnati baseball team fell to No. 2-ranked University of Kentucky 7-0 Tuesday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Cincinnati (12-24) allowed a season-high three home runs to the Wildcats, who rank second in the Southeastern Conference in longballs.
Senior left-hander Brad Mergen (Albany, Minn./Albany/Indian Hill CC) started the ballgame for Cincinnati and was ran after allowing six runs on eight hits in 3 2-3 innings.
UC freshman right hander Ryan Atkinson (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) threw 3 1-3 innings of relief, allowing one run on one hit while striking out five Wildcats.
UK starter Sam Mahar, a freshman lefty from Kenosha, Wis., pitched brilliantly in this first collegiate start. Mahar did not allow a batter to reach base until the fifth inning and ended his night throwing six scoreless inning.
Kentucky (33-5) wasted little time getting the scoring started as leadoff batter Austin Cousino clubbed his sixth home run of the season to begin the bottom of the first inning. Three batters later, UK first baseman Luke Maile belted a 2-0 pitch the opposite way to left field for his 10th homer of the season.
UK extended its lead to three runs through three innings. Wildcats shortstop Matt Reida led off the third with a double down the left field line. Reida would go onto score during on a fielder’s choice groundball out from designated hitter A.J. Reed.
The Wildcats added three runs in the fourth to take a 6-0 lead. UK second baseman J.T. Riddle reached on a one-out walk and scored on a sac fly from Reida. Wildcats third baseman Thomas McCarthy produced a two-run double.
Atkinson entered the ballgame for Mergen with two outs in the fourth inning and, after walking the first batter he faced to load the bases, retired the second batter to get out the jam.
Senior designated hitter T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle) recorded Cincinnati’s first base runner of the game when he lead off the fifth inning with a single to left-center field. Jones is now on a four-game hitting streak.
Riddle put the Wildcats up 7-0 with a one-out homer to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning, the lone hit surrendered by Atkinson.
Senior first baseman Nic Spence (Victoria, Australia/St. Joseph’s/Central Arizona CC) gave UC its second base runner of the ballgame when he led off the sixth inning with a double to right-center field.
After allowing a homer in the fifth inning, Atkinson bounced back to strike out the side in the sixth.
The Bearcats recorded their third hit of the game in the seventh when sophomore shortstop Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) smacked a two-out single, extending his hit streak to four.
Cincinnati senior lefty Cory Hough (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) made his first appearance since March 25 at Louisville and pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Bearcats.
Junior center fielder Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) gave the Bearcats their fourth hit of the ballgame with a Baltimore Chop infield single to third base in the top of the ninth inning.
The Bearcats will conclude their seven-game road trip by facing Ohio State University 7 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium, which will be televised live on Big Ten Network.