April 19, 2008
CINCINNATI--On a day in which the University of Cincinnati recognized the late-Fred Braun before the game, Cincinnati needed five runs in the sixth inning to come back to defeat Georgetown, 8-7 on Saturday afternoon. UC's No. 7, 8, and 9 batters, combined for nine hits and scored five runs, keyed by Ryan Baker's 4-for-4 performance at the plate in front of 511 fans at Marge Schott Stadium.
Georgetown's Tommy Lee started things off by accepting a hit by pitch. Lee was plunked three times in the game. With Lee aboard, Erick Fernandez walked, and Matt Harrigan followed with a two-run double to give the visiting side an early 2-0 lead.
Cincinnati (22-13, 11-3 BIG EAST) came back to cut the lead in half with its first run in the second inning. Mike Spina doubled and two batters later, Baker ripped a double that allowed Spina to score and made it 2-1.
With one out in the top half of the fourth inning, six consecutive Hoyas reached base safely, with four runners eventually coming around to score. With one out, Dan Capeless doubled and Dan Godefroi struck out, but reached first base on Michael Hill's unfortunate wild pitch. With runners on the corners, Greg Pustizzi singled to score Capeless. Tom Elliott notched a base hit to load the bases for Lee, who doubled to bring home Godefroi and Pustizzi. A single by Fernandez plated Elliott and extended the Hoyas' lead to 6-1.
Cincinnati's Hill left the contest after three and one-third innings on the mound. In his shortest starting effort of the season, Hill allowed six runs on seven hits and struck out five, before giving way to the bullpen.
In the bottom of the fourth, Baker singled with two outs and Justin Riddell followed with a double that allowed the senior catcher to come all the way around to score. Batting ninth, Chris Peters lined a single to left field and Riddell crossed the plate to make it a 6-3 contest.
Georgetown (13-22, 3-14 BIG EAST) pushed its lead to 7-3 when Sean Lamont knocked a home run well over the left-field wall off of UC's Adam Calez. Calez then quieted the GU bats over the next three and one-third innings before exiting the game in the eighth inning.
Trailing by four in the bottom of the sixth, Cincinnati used sixth singles and a walk with the bases loaded to rally for five runs, chase Georgetown starter Michael Gaggioli from the game, and take its first lead of the day, at 8-7. Spina started the inning with an infield single, and after a fly out, base hits by Baker, Riddell and Peters scored the junior third baseman to make it 7-4. UC continued to move station-to-station when Tony Campana's single dribbled through the left side to bring home Baker. Jamel Scott's full-count walk forced Riddell home. Josh Harrison hit what looked like a potential double-play but the UC second baseman's hustle down the line allowed him to be safe and the fielder's choice allowed the tying run to score and kept the inning alive for Cameron Satterwhite. Satterwhite singled to left field and Campana scored to give Cincinnati the one-run lead.
Spina finished the day 2-for-4 at the plate and scored twice. A freshman in the designated hitter spot, Riddell was also 2-for-4 and knocked two RBIs of his own. Peters' three hits marked the most of the rookie shortstop's season. Baker ended the day with four hits for the second time this season.
Gagglioli gave a valiant effort, allowing eight runs on 12 hits, with seven punch outs in five and one-third innings of service on the mound. The Hoyas' starter fell to 1-5 with the loss. Grady McConnell pitched one and two-thirds innings of relief, before Alex Meyer and Daniel Kennedy combined to work the eighth.
Calez carried the lead into the eighth, before stepping aside in favor of the Bearcats' Jake Geglein. The winning pitcher, Calez moves to 2-1 with the decision. Going for his sixth save, the Geglein finished the eighth and struck out the side in the ninth to ensure the win.
The win, coupled with a loss by Notre Dame at West Virginia, moves Cincinnati up to first place in the BIG EAST Conference baseball race. UC goes for its first BIG EAST series sweep in front of its home fans since the 2006 season, when it captured three-consecutive triumphs against Georgetown. The series finale gets underway at Marge Schott Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m.