May 8, 2011
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Senior outfielder Justin Riddell (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) hit 4-for-5 with an RBI, but it was not enough as the University of Cincinnati baseball team lost the finale of its three-game BIG EAST series against West Virginia University 14-7 Sunday afternoon at Hawley Field.
Cincinnati (25-21, 11-10 BIG EAST) outhit West Virginia 16-15, but the Bearcats were hurt by five defensive errors that to led three unearned runs, as well as 12 stranded base runners compared to WVU's five.
UC jumped out to an early lead after collecting three hits in the first inning. Senior SS Chris Peters (Tipp City, Ohio/Tipp City) led off the game with a double to center field and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore CF Jake Proctor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills). Another double to center from Riddell scored Peters and gave UC its first run. Junior LF Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community) drove in Riddell from second with a two-out single through the left side of the infield, putting UC ahead 2-0.
Pitching and defense were letdowns for the Bearcats from the beginning of the game. In the bottom of the first, a dropped foul ball continued an at-bat for WVU's 3B Justin McDavid, who then reached base on an error on a possible double-play ball to give the Mountaineers runners on first and second with no outs.
The ensuing batter, SS Grant Bucker, belted a three-run homer to left field to give WVU a 3-2 lead it did not relinquish. The Mountaineers sent 13 batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring nine runs on eight hits.
Cincinnati starter Nick Johnson (Delphos, Ohio/St. John's) was the victim of WVU's onslaught and pulled from the game after recording just two outs, both on strikeouts, in the first inning. He was replaced by junior LHP Cory Hough (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro).
Facing a seven-run deficit, UC scored runs in the second and third innings to inch closer to WVU. In the second, freshman 3B Matt Williams
(Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) singled to left field and was driven home on Proctor's RBI single. In the third, back-to-back singles by Riddell and Kline set up junior catcher Jake Saylor's
(Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) RBI single to left field, allowing Riddell to cross home plate and making the score 9-4 WVU.
The bottom of the third inning featured more erratic pitching and defense from the Bearcats. WVU RF Brady Wilson hit a leadoff home run to left field to push the score to 10-4. A single and another infield error set up runners on first and second with no outs. In the next at-bat, Hough's throw to first on a sacrifice bunt soared past first baseman Nic Spence (Victoria, Australia/St. Joseph's) down the right-field line and allowed two runners to score, increasing the Mountaineer lead to 12-4.
Sophomore RHP Zach Isler (Union, Ky./Covington Catholic) was then inserted into the game for Hough, still with no outs in the third. Isler did not allow a base runner in four perfect innings while striking out three batters.
Riddell led off the seventh with an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error by the third baseman, McDavid. Two batters later, Spence's one-out single to right field allowed Riddell to reach home and made the score 12-5.
The Bearcats continued to chip away at the Mountaineer lead in the eighth inning when freshman DH Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) crushed a two-run roundtripper over the right-field wall to cut the deficit to 12-7. However, WVU responded in the bottom half of the eighth with back-to-back solo home runs from DH Jeremy Gum and LF T.J. Kuban to produce the final score of 14-7.
Cincinnati will play Miami University on consecutive days, starting with a 6:30 p.m. ET Tuesday game at Marge Schott Stadium.