April 25, 2008
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--With the landmark twin spires of Churchill Downs offset in the background, the University of Cincinnati jumped out to an early lead and led wire-to-wire posting a 11-2 baseball victory over host Louisville in the first of three BIG EAST Conference frays set for the weekend at Patterson Stadium. The outpouring of offense overshadowed Dan Osterbrock's fifth consecutive win of the season.
UC (25-15, 12-4 BIG EAST) sprang from the gates with four runs in the top of the first inning. Tony Campana led off the evening with a walk, moved to second on his league-leading 28th stolen base of the year, and was standing at third following a ground out. Josh Harrison's line-drive single plated Campana for the first run. With Harrison moving on the pitch, Mike Spina followed with a single of his own to put runners on first and third base. Cameron Satterwhite hit a rocket off the center field wall that bounced around for a stand-up triple and both Harrison and Spina cruised home. Kevin Johnson then singled through the right side to score Spina and give UC a 4-0 lead.
The Bearcats went right back to work in the second inning, posting three more runs against Cardinals' starting pitcher Zack Pitts. The Bearcats had Justin Riddell on second and Chris Peters at first after a base hit and free pass, in an apparent sacrifice bunt situation for Campana, the speedy center fielder executed the bunt, a fielding blunder and then a throwing error by Pitts went down the right field line, allowing both Riddell and Peters to come around to score and Campana ended the play standing at third base. Two batters later, Harrison hit a fly ball that served as a sacrifice fly and the Bearcats' lead was 7-0.
With one out in the third, Johnson ripped his second single of the evening and with the wind blowing out, Ryan Baker blasted a 2-0 pitch onto the landing beyond left field to make it a 9-0 advantage.
With Pitts out of the game, it was more of the same in the fourth inning, with another two-run blast extending the visiting Bearcats' lead. Jamel Scott kicked off the frame with an infield single off of reliever Neil Holland. Two pitches later, Harrison blistered a pitch deep to left field to make it an 11-0 game.
Louisville (24-16, 8-8 BIG EAST) broke into the hit column against Cincinnati starting pitcher Dan Osterbrock when Phil Wunderlich doubled to start the UofL fourth. After a ground out, Chris Dominguez singled and Wunderlich came around to make it an 11-1 contest.
The host Cardinals added a run in the seventh when three straight singles made it an 11-2 game. Osterbrock then quieted the hosts' bats and went the distance for his third complete game of the season. The heralded lefthander improved to 6-2 with the win. The junior has set the tone for the Bearcats in BIG EAST play, winning each of his last five outings.
Pitts allowed six earned runs on nine hits over three innings of work and moved to 5-4 with the loss.
All nine batters in the Bearcats order scored at least one run in the game. Josh Harrison was the top hitting for the winning side, posting a 3-for-3 effort, with two runs scored and four runs batted in.
The Bearcats and Cardinals return to Jim Patterson Stadium for Game Two of the BIG EAST three-game set on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.