May 9, 2010
STORRS, Conn. – In his first career start, freshman Andrew Strenge yielded seven hits, struck out six batters, and gave up two unearned runs in nine innings of work to lead the University of Cincinnati baseball team past the No. 20 University of Connecticut Huskies, 3-2, Sunday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field.
Strenge threw 113 pitches in his first career complete game, 76 of which went for strikes, becoming the first UC freshman to throw a complete game since Dan Osterbrock threw a complete game at Villanova on May 6, 2006. The Yardley, Pa., native also moved to 5-1 on the season.
The win moved Cincinnati to 25-23 overall and 9-12 in BIG EAST play, while No. 20 UConn slipped to 36-10 overall and 16-4 in conference action. UC is now 2-2 on the season when playing teams ranked in the Top 25 nationally.
Both Strenge and UConn starter Greg Nappo held the opposing team scoreless through the first five innings, before UC put the first runs on the board in the sixth inning.
Freshman Jake Proctor got the damage started with a lead-off solo home run to right field, his first home run as a Bearcat. Two batters later, junior Chris Peters singled to center field and following a deep fly out to the warning track by senior Jimmy Jacquot, junior Justin Riddell blasted a home run to left field into a 30 mph wind coming in from the same direction to push the Cincinnati lead to 3-0. The home run by Riddell was his fourth in his last five games and his fifth of the season.
Strenge continued to keep the Huskies off-balance in the sixth and seventh innings but ran into a bit of trouble in the eighth inning when a two-out, RBI single down the right field line by George Springer cut the UC lead to 3-2. Springer then stole second to move into scoring position, but Strenge got Mike Nemeth to ground out to second base to end the inning.
After UC was retired in order in the ninth inning, Strenge struck out UConn’s home run leader, Mike Olt, to start the inning, before Kevin Vance singled to put the tying run on base and the winning run at the plate. However, Strenge struck out Joe Pavone for the second out, before forcing pinch hitter Matt Burnett to ground out to senior Kevin Johnson to give UC the series finale, 3-2.
Peters led Cincinnati at the plate with three hits, while Riddell was the other UC player to post a multi-hit game with a pair of base knocks.
The Bearcats play their final non-conference mid-week games of the season this week when they play a home-and-home series against Miami University on Tuesday, May 11, and Wednesday, May 12. UC and MU met earlier this season with Cincinnati defeating Miami (OH) in the championship game of the Joe Nuxhall Classic. Tuesday’s game will be contested at Marge Schott Stadium at 6:30 p.m., while Wednesday’s game will be played at 6 p.m. at McKie Field at Hayden Park.