May 1, 2011
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The University of Cincinnati baseball team survived an unusual ninth inning to defeat University of Pittsburgh 9-8 Sunday night at Charles L. Cost Field at the Petersen Sports Complex.
Leading 9-7, the bottom of the ninth quickly turned bizarre. After Pitt DH Rick Devereaux singled to right field, he was pinch ran for by Stephen Vranka. The next batter, RF Casey Roche slugged what appeared to be a game-tying, two-run home run to left field. However, Vranka was slow to round the bases and Roche passed Vranka during his trot to second base. Roche was by rule called out, thus, only one run scored on the play. Senior RHP Brian Sand (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) closed the game on the next batter with a fly ball out to give Cincinnati a crucial 9-8 BIG EAST series-clinching win.
Cincinnati (24-17, 10-8 BIG EAST) continued its weekend-long slugfest against Pitt after totaling 17 hits on Sunday. Every Bearcat produced at least one hit, including seven with multi-hit performances. Overall in its three-game series against the Panthers, UC racked up an outrageous 49 hits.
The Bearcats wasted little time putting runs on the scoreboard after a rain shower delayed the start of the game for 4 hours and three minutes. Senior shortstop Chris Peters (Tipp City, Ohio/Tipp City) led off the game with a double to left field and scored on sophomore outfielder Jake Proctor's (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) triple to right-center field. Freshman DH Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) then drove in Proctor on a groundball to the shortstop. Senior OF Justin Riddell (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) stroked a solo home run to left field to put Cincinnati ahead 3-0.
The lead did not last at Pittsburgh respond with four runs in the bottom half of the first. Panthers left fielder Johns Schultz hit a two-run homer to left field. They added two more runs after loading the bases with no outs on a fielder's choice by Roche and a sacrifice fly from 2B Travis Whitmore.
Cincinnati quickly regained the lead in the second inning when, after freshman third baseman Matt Williams
(Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) led off with a single, junior first baseman Nic Spence
(Victoria, Australia/St. Joseph's) belted a two-run longball down the right-field line to put the Bearcats up 5-4.
UC pushed its lead to 8-4 after scoring three runs in the top of the fifth. Glass drove in Peters from second on an RBI single to center field. After junior LF Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community) singled to put runners on the corners, junior catcher Jake Saylor (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) singled to left to drive in Glass for the second run of the inning. Junior second baseman Sam Vandenheuvel (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) followed with an RBI single to center field to score Kline from third base.
Pitt got one run back in the bottom half of the fifth when Devereaux hit a two-out RBI single to center field, scoring LF John Schultz from second base.
With the score now 8-5, Glass gave UC an insurance run in the sixth inning with an RBI double to center field to score Spence, who led off the inning with a single, from second base to give the Bearcats a four-run lead.
After a rough first inning, senior RHP Nick Johnson (Delphos, Ohio/St. John's) settled down and lasted six innings. He allowed just one more run for a total of five on eight hits with three strikeouts and three walks to pick up his fifth win of the season.
Freshman RHP Matt Ring (Muncie, Ind./Yorktown) entered the game for Johnson and pitched a scoreless seventh inning and was pulled for Sand with runners on first and second with one out in the eighth.
Sand hit the first batter he faced to load the bases. The next batter hit a potential double-play groundball to the shortstop Peters, but a throwing error by Vandenheuvel took first baseman Spence off the bag and allowed two runners to score, pulling Pitt to within two runs at 9-7. After a double by Schultz put runners on second and third, Sand recovered by striking out Pitt catcher Kevan Smith to end the eighth.
The Bearcats take on Otterbein University at 6:30 p.m. ET Tuesday at Marge Schott Stadium.