April 29, 2012
CINCINNATI — The University of Cincinnati baseball team fell to Rutgers University 5-2 Sunday afternoon at Marge Schott Stadium.
In his first appearance in the starting lineup since May 15, 2010, Cincinnati senior designated hitter Cory Hough (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro), a fixture in the Bearcats bullpen as a left-handed reliever, tied his career high with two hits after batting 2 for 3 and scored one run.
Bearcats freshman third baseman Joey Bielek (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal) also had two hits in four at-bats with a stolen base. Sophomore outfielder Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) went 1 for 2 to extend his hitting streak to nine games, while senior first baseman Nic Spence (Victoria, Australia/St. Joseph’s/Central Arizona CC) recorded his third home run of the season.
UC (13-32, 2-16 BIG EAST) redshirt sophomore Christian McElroy (Middletown, Ohio/Monroe/Sinclair CC) gave the Bearcats another solid outing on the mound. The right-hander allowed five runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts in seven-plus innings of work; McElroy’s third consecutive start tossing at least six innings.
Rutgers (26-17, 11-7 BIG EAST) starting pitcher Ryan Fasano slowed the UC offense during his seven innings, allowing just two runs on six hits with three strikeouts.
With one out in the top of the fifth inning, RU center fielder Brian O’Grady doubled to center field and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Second baseman Nick Favatella’s infield single scored O’Grady for the game’s first run. Two batters later, third baseman Patrick Kivlehan belted his 10th home run of the season to left field, a two-run bomb that gave the Scarlet Knights a three-run lead.
With one swing of the bat, the Bearcats decreased the margin to one run, at 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth. Hough singled to left field with one out, his first base hit since May 12, 2010 at Miami University. Two batters later, Spence belted his third home run of the season, a towering shot to right field that landed in the east concourse of Fifth Third Arena.
RU designated hitter Charlie Law doubled to left field to lead off the eighth inning. Catcher Michael Zavala followed with a single to shortstop that put Scarlet Knights on the corners with no outs. Junior right-hander Andrew Strenge (Yardley, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep) entered the game for McElroy and induced first baseman Bill Hoermann into a 6-4 fielder’s choice, allowing Law to cross the plate. Left fielder Vinny Zarillo singled to put runners on first and second. RU shortstop Pat Sweeney drove in Hoermann with an RBI single.
Strenge pitched the final two innings of the game for the Bearcats.
After Glass walked with one out in the fourth inning, the Bearcats got their first base hit of the game when Bielek singled up the middle to put runners on first and second. Glass advanced to third after tagging up on senior outfielder T.J. Jones’ (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle) fly out to right field, giving UC base runners on the corners. The inning ended when Glass was picked off at third base on a double-steal attempt.
The Bearcats will take a break from conference action when they play host to the Wright State Raiders 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Marge Schott Stadium.