April 21, 2011
CINCINNATI - Junior outfielder Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community) combined to hit 4-for-7 with two home runs and six RBI to help the University of Cincinnati baseball team sweep a Thursday doubleheader against Villanova University at Marge Schott Stadium.
Cincinnati took the first game 7-1 on the heels of a strong pitching performance from senior RHP Dan Jensen (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville), who allowed just one run in seven innings pitched with 10 strikeouts - one short of his career high. The Bearcats then earned a convincing 10-4 win in Game 2 to even their BIG EAST record to 7-7.
In Game 1, UC was led offensively by outfielders Justin Riddell (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) and Kline, who combined to bat 4-for-8 with seven RBI, highlighted by the duo's five-RBI third inning.
With bases loaded and two outs in the third, Riddell smacked a 2-RBI single up the middle of the infield to put UC up 2-0. The ensuing batter, Kline stroked a home run that easily cleared the left centerfield wall to drive in three runs and put Cincinnati ahead 5-0.
Riddell added an additional two RBI in the fifth inning with a double to right field that scored senior SS Chris Peters (Tipp City, Ohio/Tipp City) and sophomore OF Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills).
Sophomore RHP Zach Isler (Union, Ky./Covington Catholic) relieved Jensen to pitch the eighth and ninth innings without allowing a run to end Game 1.
The combination of sophomore RHP Andrew Strenge's (Yardley, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep) pitching and Kline's hitting proved to be too much for Villanova in Game 2.
Cincinnati got another solid performance from its starting pitcher after Strenge threw six scoreless innings and struck out eight batters, while Kline nearly became the first Bearcat since 1999 to hit for the cycle.
Kline led off the bottom of the second inning with a home run to left field to put UC up 1-0 early. Later in the inning, Peters hit a 2-RBI double that gave Cincinnati a 3-0 advantage.
With a runner on first and two outs in the fifth inning, Kline stroked a triple to the right centerfield wall that scored Riddell and made the score 4-0 UC.
In three Game 2 at-bats, Kline had a home run, single and a triple and was one double away from hitting for the cycle, a feat that had not been accomplished by a Bearcat since Anthony Snowell on May 7, 1999. In his final two plate appearances, he was hit by a pitch in seventh inning and recorded a sacrifice fly in the eighth to end the game 3-for-3 with three RBI.
Cincinnati and Villanova will play the final of a three-game BIG EAST series at 4 p.m. ET Friday at Marge Schott Stadium.