May 14, 2009
CINCINNATI – With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, a walk-off sacrifice fly by freshman T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle) scored sophomore Chris Peters (Tipp City, Ohio/Tipp City) giving the University of Cincinnati baseball team a vital 5-4 come-from-behind win in the series opener of its three-game BIG EAST Conference series Thursday evening at Marge Schott Stadium. Trailing 4-3 entering the bottom of the eighth, Cincinnati (28-26; 12-13 BIG EAST) tied the game in the bottom of the eighth before registering the walk-off run in the ninth.
Senior Mike Spina (Newberry, Fla.) was one of seven Bearcats players to record hits, but led the team with two RBI on a two-run, fourth-inning home run, his 22nd of the season, giving him the UC single-season home run record. Spina set the previous single-season home run record in 2008 with 21 home runs.
UC was held without a hit in the first three innings before senior Cameron Satterwhite (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller) lined a one-out single off the wall in right field to start the fourth-inning rally. Satterwhite was eliminated on a junior Lance Durham (Forest Park, Ohio/Roger Bacon) fielder’s choice, but Durham scored when Spina got the green light on a three balls, zero strikes count and hit a home run to right field, placing Cincinnati in front, 2-0. During the next at-bat, sophomore Justin Riddell (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) hit a solo home run to right-center field, pushing the UC lead to 3-0.
Seton Hall (24-23; 12-13 BIG EAST) got a run back in the top of the fifth on a two-out RBI double by Will Walsh, cutting the Pirates deficit to 3-1, before inching closer on a RBI single by Frank Esposito in the sixth, bringing Seton Hall within one run, 3-2.
Seton jumped on top for the first time in the game with two runs in the eighth inning, taking a 4-3 lead.
In the Bearcat eighth, Jones led off the inning with a single up the middle and moved into scoring position on a Satterwhite sacrifice bunt. After falling behind in the count, zero balls, two strikes, Durham worked a full count and then singled through the right side to score Jones and knot the game at four.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Peters reached on a fielding error by the first baseman and moved to second base when junior Jimmy Jacquot (Swansea, Ill./Belleville East) was hit by a pitch. An intentional walk to redshirt freshman Zach Collaros (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville) loaded the bases for Jones, and Jones lifted a shallow fly ball to center field. Seton Hall’s centerfielder, Matt Smedberg, made the catch and threw home but Peters slid past Pirates’ catcher Frank Esposito as the ball bounced away from Esposito giving Cincinnati the 5-4 victory.
The win tied UC for eighth in the BIG EAST Conference with Seton Hall and the Bearcats and Pirates meet for Game 2 of the series on Friday, May 15, at 6:30 p.m.