May 7, 2011
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The University of Cincinnati baseball team overcame a slow offensive start with a six-run seventh-inning rally to defeat West Virginia University 9-4 in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader at Hawley Field.
The Bearcat offense struggled early, recording just two hits through the first six innings, until it exploded for six runs in the seventh.
Junior LF Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community) started the UC rally after blasting his fifth home run of the season, a first-pitch solo shot to left field. Consecutive walks were followed by singles by pinch hitter T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/La Salle), SS Chris Peters (Tipp City, Ohio/Tipp City) and CF Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills), which cut the lead to 4-3. With two outs and bases loaded, Cincinnati broke through when DH Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) sliced a bases-clearing double to the left-field warning track that gave the Bearcats a 6-4 lead.
The Bearcats scored two insurance runs in the eighth, starting with 3B Matt Williams' (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) bases-loaded walk. Peters hit a sacrifice fly to right field in the ensuing at-bat that scored 1B Nic Spence (Victoria, Australia/St. Joseph's) from third base and gave UC an 8-4 lead.
Spence drove in UC's ninth and final run in the top of the ninth with a two-out single to center field that scored 2B Ryan Quinn (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) from second.
Cincinnati had to play come-from-behind baseball after allowing three runs in the bottom of the first inning. With no outs and runners on first and second, WVU shortstop Grant Buckner doubled to right field to drive in the first two runs of the game. Two batters later, LF Chris Rasky singled up the middle to put the Mountaineers up 3-0.
Starting pitcher Dan Jensen
(Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) settled down after the three-run first, allowing just one run in the in his next four innings pitched. WVU's fourth run came in the third when Rasky chopped an RBI groundout to the right side that put Cincinnati behind 4-0.
In five innings pitched, Jensen allowed four runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
LHP Brad Mergen (Albany, Minn./Albany) entered the game in relief of Jensen to start the sixth and produced arguably his best outing of the season. The junior held the Mountaineers scoreless for four innings and recording three strikeouts to pick up his first win of his Bearcat career.
Cincinnati and West Virginia will the play the second game of the doubleheader at approximately 5:20 p.m. at Hawley Field.