May 20, 2009
CLEARWATER, Fla. – It was fitting that in his final at-bat in an University of Cincinnati uniform that senior Mike Spina (Newberry, Fla./Newberry) hit a home run, but Cincinnati’s season ended with a 12-2 loss to St. John’s at the BIG EAST Conference Tournament Wednesday afternoon at Bright House Field. St. John’s (30-21) scored two runs in the second inning and three more in the third inning and never looked back.
Spina and sophomore Chris Peters (Tipp City, Ohio/Tipp City) had two hits apiece and combined for four of the five UC hits.
After a scoreless first inning, a two-out, two-RBI single by Danny Benedetti placed St. John’s in front 2-0 in the second inning. UC appeared to be in position to tie the game in the bottom of the second with runners on second and third base with one out, but a strike out and a ground out ended the threat.
In the third inning, a two-run Tim Morris home run and a RBI double from Matt Wessinger widened the Red Storm advantage to 5-0.
A lead-off single by redshirt freshman Zach Collaros (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville), a walk to freshman T.J. Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle) and a single by Peters loaded the bases with no outs and gave the Bearcats a prime opportunity to strike back in the bottom of the third. A double play scored a run, but a strike out followed ending the threat and sending the game to the fourth inning with the Red Storm owning a 5-1 lead.
Three more runs in the fourth, one run in the sixth and seventh and two runs in the ninth inning extended the Red Storm margin to 12-1 heading to the bottom of the ninth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Spina homered to left field on a zero balls, two strikes count, in his last at-bat as a Bearcat, making the score 12-2. The home run was Spina’s 23rd of the season and the 43rd of his career. However, that would be the final run as the Bearcats fell to St. John’s, 12-2.
Cincinnati finished the season with a 29-29 record and a 13-14 BIG EAST mark. During the season, Spina broke his own single-season home runs record with 23 home runs, junior Lance Durham (Forest Park, Ohio/Roger Bacon) broke UC’s single-season hits record with 99 hits and broke the single-season batting average record with a .427 average, and senior Jake Geglein (Cincinnati, Ohio/McNicholas) became UC’s all-time saves leader and finished his career with 20 career saves.