May 3, 2011
CINCINNATI - Junior first baseman Nic Spence (Victoria, Australia/St. Joseph's) hit 4-for-5 with two runs scored, but it was not enough as the University of Cincinnati baseball team fell to Otterbein University 6-4 in a Tuesday makeup game at Marge Schott Stadium.
Cincinnati (24-18, 10-8 BIG EAST) took an early second-inning lead that did not last after UC committed four errors that lead to three unearned runs.
Junior LF Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community) and Spence led off the second inning with back-to-back singles and each advanced a base after 2B Sam Vandenheuvel (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) sacrifice bunted, giving UC runners on second and third with one out. Two batters later, Kline scored from third base on a passed ball, giving UC an early one-run lead.
Otterbein center fielder Clayton Clever led off the third inning with a single to left field and later scored from third base when RF Greg Mowman singled up the middle, tying the game 1-1.
With one out and no runners on base in the bottom of the fourth, Spence belted his second home run in as many games when he launched a pitch off OU starter Dustin Rueter over the right-field wall, putting Cincinnati ahead 2-1.
In the top of the fifth, Mowman drove in his second run of the day with a triple down the right-field line, scoring Clever from second base. After consecutive infield errors with runners on the corners, Greenhill and Coleman hit consecutive RBI base hits to left field to give the Cardinals a 4-2 lead.
Sophomore RHP Zach Isler (Union, Ky./Covington Catholic) was then replaced by freshman LHP Jason Pascuzzi (Strongsville, Ohio/Strongsville), who retired the next two batters to end the fifth. In his first start of the season, Isler pitched 4.1 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts.
Otterbein added an insurance run in the top of the eighth inning to take a 5-2 lead. Cardinals LF Bobby Hildebrand reached on a fielder's choice and advance to second on an attempted double-play throwing error. In the ensuing at-bat, OU 2B Scott Staarman hit a two-out RBI single to centerfield to score Hildebrand.
Spence led off the bottom half of the eighth with his second double of the night and later scored on a fielder's choice groundball out by freshman 3B Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) to make the score 6-3. UC then had a runner on first with one out, but a 5-4-3 double play ended the eighth.
The Bearcats had one last opportunity in the ninth inning, now facing a 6-3 deficit. With two outs, Kline hit an RBI single to left which scored senior RF Justin Riddell (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) and pulled the Bearcats to within two runs; however, the rally ended on a groundout by Spence.
Cincinnati will play Wright State on Wednesday starting at 6 p.m. ET at Marge Schott Stadium.