May 11, 2012
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. — The University of Cincinnati baseball team defeated Villanova University 5-2 Friday afternoon at Villanova Ballpark.
With the win, the Bearcats extended their winning streak over Villanova to five ballgames.
Junior right-handed Zach Isler (Union, Ky./Covington Catholic) was dominant in his third start of the year. The 6-foot-5 flamethrower did not allow an earned run (one overall) and surrendered just four hits with three strikeouts in eight innings pitched to earn his first win of the season.
The Bearcats offense totaled eight hits, led by multi-hit games from redshirt freshman outfielder Ethan McAlpine (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller), junior shortstop J.P. Jackson (Bowling Green, Ky./Bowling Green/Western Kentucky) and freshman third baseman Joey Bielek (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chapparal).
Cincinnati led 1-0 through 5 1/2 innings before Villanova tied the score in the bottom of the sixth.
UC regained the lead when three Bearcats crossed the plate in the top of the seventh. Sophomore center fielder Matt Williams (Mason, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian) hit a leadoff double to right-center field and advanced to third base on sophomore second baseman Ryan Quinn’s (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) sacrifice bunt. McAlpine hit an infield single off the pitcher’s mound that gave Cincinnati runners on the corner with one out. Jackson’s squeeze bunted down the first-base line drove in Williams. After senior first baseman Nic Spence’s (Victoria, Australia/St. Joseph’s/Central Arizona CC) sac bunt, Bielek hit a two-run single up the middle that scored Jackson and McAlpine and gave UC a 4-1 lead.
The Bearcats added an insurance run in the top of the ninth to extend their lead to 5-1. Quinn led off the frame with an infield single down the third-base line and advanced to second on McAlpine’s sacrifice bunt. Jackson singled to right field that drove in Quinn for UC’s fifth run.
UC took a one-run lead in the top of the second inning. McAlpine hit a two-out double to right-center field. Jackson hit a dribbler to VU shortstop Marlon Calbi that drove in McAlpine, who was running on the pitch and scored from second base after beating Calbi’s throw to home plate.
Cincinnati’s defense struggled in the bottom of the sixth inning, which allowed Villanova to tie the score at 1-1. With a runner on first and one out, Quinn dropped a would-be force out from Bielek’s throw on a grounder to third base, giving VU runners on first and second. In the next at-bat, Isler’s throw to first base after fielding a bunt sailed to right field, which allowed pinch hitter Brandon Clark to score and tie the ballgame.
The Bearcats and Wildcats will play Game 2 of their three-game BIG EAST Conference series 1:15 p.m. Saturday at Villanova Ballpark. The game can be heard live at Villanova.com/allaccess.