April 22, 2012
CINCINNATI — The University of Cincinnati baseball team dropped an 9-0 decision to St. John’s University Sunday afternoon at Marge Schott Stadium.
St. John’s (24-15, 10-4 BIG EAST) starting pitcher Kyle Hansen overpowered the UC (13-27, 2-13 BIG EAST) offense after striking out a career-high 16 batters in route to a complete-game shutout. Hansen, a 2011 all-BIG EAST selection, owns a 3-0 record with a 1.18 ERA and 46 punchouts in 30 1-3 innings in four career starts against UC.
Fresh off being named to the weekly BIG EAST Honor Roll, redshirt sophomore right-hander Christian McElroy (Middletown, Ohio/Monroe/Sinclair CC) recorded his second consecutive quality start after allowing three runs in six innings pitched while striking out four.
The lone Bearcat in the starting lineup not to strikeout was sophomore right fielder Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll), who led the UC offense with a 3-for-4 effort, which accounted for half of UC’s hit total.
St. John’s plated two runners in the top of the fourth inning to take a 2-0 lead. Designated hitter Pat Talbut was struck by a pitch and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Shortstop Matt Wessinger singled to right field to put runners on the corners with no outs. First baseman Frank Schdwindel singled through the left side to drive in Talbut. Left fielder Jeremy Baltz lined a single to left field on a hit-and-run play that allowed Wessinger to cross the plate. Third baseman Sean O’Hare hit a bunt single to the left side of the infield that loaded the bases. UC avoided further damage when McElroy struck out catcher Danny Bethea and then induced a 4-3 double play.
The Red Storm added a third run in the top of the sixth inning. Baltz recorded a one-out walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later Bethea hit a two-out single to center field, allowing Baltz to reach home and making the score 3-0 St. John’s.
SJU scored three runs on just one hit in the top of the seventh inning to take a 6-0 lead. UC freshman righty Ryan Atkinson (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) walked the bases loaded and removed from the ballgame with one out. Fellow freshman RHP Art Warren (Stryker, Ohio/Napoleon) took Atkinson’s place with the bases juiced and allowed a double to Baltz that plated two St. John’s runners. A passed ball allowed Schwindel to score.
Freshman RHP Grant Walker (Brookeville, Ohio/Northmont) entered the game in the eighth and allowed the Red Storm to score three runs on three hits to take a 9-0 lead.
Bearcats closer Zach Isler (Union, Ky./Covington Catholic) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for UC.
The Bearcats open a two-game home-and-home series against crosstown rival Xavier University 3 p.m. Tuesday at XU’s Hayden Field. Game 2 of the series begins 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Marge Schott Stadium and can be heard live on Real Talk 1160 WQRT-AM or RealTalk1160.com.