April 18, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sophomore shortstop Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) went 3 for 3 with two RBIs and a career-high four stolen bases, junior left-hander Thomas Gentile (Westerville, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales) struck out seven in four innings, and for the third straight season the University of Cincinnati baseball team defeated Ohio State University 6-5 Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium.
Cincinnati (13-24) banged out 11 hits, including two-hit performances from senior second baseman Sam Vandenheuvel (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton/Mesa CC) and freshman third baseman Joey Bielek (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal). Junior center fielder Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) clubbed his third home run of the season.
Cincinnati reclaimed the lead in the top of the eighth inning with two runs. Sophomore right fielder Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) reached on an error by OSU third baseman Brad Hallberg. Bielek fouled off multiple 0-2 pitches before belting a double to left field, giving UC runners on second and third with no outs. Senior designated hitter T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle) grounded out to shortstop. Williams stroked a sharply hit grounder up the middle for a big RBI base hit that gave UC a 6-4 lead.
Junior right-hander Zach Isler (Union, Ky./Covington Catholic) entered the ballgame for senior lefty Cory Hough (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) with one out and runners on first and second in the eighth inning. Isler punched out the first two batters he faced to get the Bearcats out of the eighth still with a two-run advantage.
Isler allowed consecutive singles in the bottom of the ninth that put runners on second and third with no outs. Isler struck out OSU (21-16) third baseman David Corna before walking Greg Solomon on four pitches, loading the bases. OSU shortstop Kirby Pellant hit a sac fly to center field that brought the Buckeyes to within one run at 6-5. A wild pitch moved runners to second and third before Isler punched out OSU second baseman Ryan Cypret on a full-count breaking ball, ending the ballgame.
UC starting pitcher, freshman right-hander Grant Walker (Brookeville, Ohio/Northmont) struggled to find the strike zone, walking three and hitting one batter in two-plus innings.
OSU third baseman David Corna’s leadoff home run in the bottom of the second inning put the Buckeyes back on top 2-1. After walking the next two batters, Walker induced his second double play ball, this time of the 5-3 variety, and then a 6-3 groundout to get of the second.
Cincinnati drew even at 1-1 in the second inning. Williams led off with a double to left-center field and advanced to third by tagging on senior catcher Jake Saylor’s (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton/Paradise Valley CC) fly out to deep left field. Spence drove in Williams and tied the score 1-1 with an RBI groundout to second base.
The Buckeyes scored a run on three hits in the first inning. OSU first baseman Josh Dezse drove in the initial run of the game with a one-out RBI single through the left side. Walker got out of the jam by inducing a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Gentile entered the ballgame for Walker with no outs and runners on first and second in the bottom of the third. After allowing a single to the first batter he faced to load the bases, Gentile struck out the next two before walking in a runner to give OSU a 3-1 lead.
The Bearcats rallied for three runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 4-3 lead. Senior left fielder Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community) smoked a one-out double to left field and scored on Vandenheuvel’s RBI single to left field. The next batter, Proctor cleared the bases when he clubbed a two-run bomb to left field.
Freshman Evan Hills (Liberty Township, Ohio/Lakota East) entered game for Gentile with one out and runners on corners in the seventh inning. Hills walked the lone batter he faced to load the bases before being replaced by left-hander Cory Hough (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro).
Hough scooped a grounder straight back to the mound and made an errant toss to Saylor behind the dish that allowed Ohio State to tie the score 4-4. Hough recovered by striking out the next two batters, avoiding further damage.
The Bearcats will pick up BIG EAST Conference action when they host a three-game series against St. John’s University Friday through Sunday at Marge Schott Stadium. Game 1 of the series begins 6:30 p.m. Friday with junior right-hander Andrew Strenge (Yardley, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep) expected to get the start.